A lush garden occupies the lap pool space after extensive landscaping
Since the budget to take out the pool and completely revamp the bottom terrace was a mere $5,000--not much considering the amount of work that needed to be done--Terry and Brower decided to do the work themselves, rather than hire landscapers to do it for them. "We wanted to integrate the pool area with the rest of the garden. But we also wanted a seating area where we could relax and look upslope to the rest of the garden, as well as a space for a vegetable garden, a small pond with goldfish, and additional fruit trees."
They asked landscape architect David Mandel to put their ideas on paper; for $800 (part of the $5,000), he measured the space, fine-tuned the ideas, and provided a blueprint.
Then it was time to dig in. Terry and Brower tore up the pool themselves ("a bear of a job"). After six months of searching, they found aged pavers, similar to ones on the upper terraces, at a CalTrans disposal yard near the freeway.
Then they built raised beds for spring tulips and summer vegetables, edging the beds with recycled broken concrete and installing trellises for peas. They brought in 1/2 yard of planting mix, hauling it downslope in 5-gallon buckets--backbreaking work, but it paid off.
"We did all the work ourselves. Right on budget," Terry says proudly.