Vibrant colors and paving in bold, irregular patterns are the first clues that something's spectacularly different about Lee and Carmen Ritenours' coastal garden, designed by Mia Lehrer.
Further investigation reveals a rhythmic row of Mexican fan palms contrasted by an irregular grouping of Queen palms, a series of turf circles skipping across a field of black Mexican pebbles, and fluid lines of turf waving in and around a blue pool. "Stunning!" agreed the jurors. "The garden has a beat of its own," said one.
That this garden is all about rhythm is no surprise--the owners are a jazz guitarist and a Brazilian native. Taking a cue from the owners' backgrounds, Lehrer used musical improvisation awash with vivid tropical colors to inspire her design.
She describes the terrace paving--inspired by Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx--as a "geometric pattern of colored concrete." With the dancing palms, the grass "notes," and the spicy orange, purple, and red foliage, the elements form an exceptionally lyrical landscape.
DESIGNER: Mia Lehrer, Mia Lehrer + Associates, Los Angeles (213/384-3844)