How to create a lush urban oasis
Banish boundaries with green walls and disappearing doors
Paul and Cicek Bricault lost backyard square footage when they built an addition onto their home, but they wanted to make the most of the open space that remained. “We envisioned a serene sanctuary from the city,” says Cicek. Enter landscape designer Richard Grigsby and designer Marc Bricault, Paul’s brother. Together, they built a patio that feels like an extension of the family room, thanks to a series of pivoting doors. To create a sense of lush enclosure and block views of a parking lot next door, they lined the fence with tall plants such as angel’s trumpet and princess flower.
Then they kept planting. Marc came up with the radical idea to create a garden in the sky, covering the walls and one rooftop in waterproof vinyl, and attaching a series of modular cells containing rooted succulents and, on the roof, grasses, yarrow, lantana, and ice plant. The experiment gave the couple back the greenery they’d lost—and then some.