Grapes aglow

Thomas J. Story
'Cabernet' grapevines form a flaming canopy atop a metal-and-wood arbor.
Changing leaves create a vibrant show in a Woodside garden

Mild days and chilly nights make fall a special time of year in Northern California gardens. That's when the foliage of many trees, shrubs, and vines starts to turn brilliant shades such as port, cherry red, and bonfire orange. Landscape architect Tito Patri celebrated the season in a Woodside garden by training 'Cabernet' grapevines over a custom arbor of soft-forged iron and recycled redwood.

The iron of the arbor's vertical posts and overhead frame rusts naturally, while unpeeled logs ― rescued from two small redwood trees that were removed during construction of the house ― form a roof. ("Incorporating recycled materials into the construction of the home and garden was an important part of the entire project," Patri says.) The logs, laid horizontally across the iron frame, are lashed to the crosspieces with sturdy twine.

A flagstone path curves beneath the arbor and through a sea of groundcover ― a mix of silvery lamb's ears, manzanita, and more. The greenery is the perfect foil for the grape-vines' red-orange foliage, while the arbor's rusty brown hue enhances the color show.

Design: Tito Patri, San Francisco (415/346-2226); Jefferson Mack Metal (415/550-9328)

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