Northern California: Splashed in purple

A vine-draped arbor covers a patio and frames a pond

Spring arrives with a flourish in Shelly and Bill Coglizer's Lafayette garden. The wisteria-covered arbor ― the focal point in the backyard ― is a sight to behold when the first warm days stimulate a burst of purple blooms.

Like all wisteria, the vine requires sturdy support. Here, the job is done by an arching iron arbor accented by precast concrete columns (from Napa Valley Cast Stone, 707/258-3340). After the flowers fade, the green foliage provides shady relief from the hot summer sun and forms a lush canopy for outdoor dining.

Beneath the arbor, the patio is covered by diagonally set concrete pavers with baby's tears planted in the seams between them. At the rear of the property, a pond is formed by raised beds filled with white azaleas, a katsura tree, rhododendrons, a tree fern, a tall viburnum, and other shade-loving plants.

DESIGN: Ron Lutsko, Lutsko Associates, San Francisco (415/920-2800); and Freeland and Sabrina Tanner, Proscape Landscape Design, Yountville (707/226-2540).

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http://www.sunset.com/garden/landscaping-design/northern-california-splashed-in-purple-00400000022570/