The judges were impressed that this family in Greenbrae, California, “created space where none existed before,” turning a sloped front yard into a modern play den. Concrete planters are placed along the sidewalk, with a firepit and raised patio inside. Phormiums and a gate add screening, while not totally blocking out the street. “This garden could change the whole neighborhood,” said one judge.
Why it won:
- DIY. A concrete fountain beside the path and a square firepit near the table are finishing touches, built by the owners.
- Friendly hedge. Phormium ‘Firebird’ and P. tenax flank the freestanding gate, creating light screening.
- Slope changers. Edged with concrete, the raised patio and its planter-retaining wall level the yard and make it more livable.
Design: Ive Haugeland, Shades of Green Landscape Architecture, Sausalito, CA (shadesofgreenla.com or 415/332-1485)