Northwest yard's endless lawn

Frame a fabulous view with expansive turf and sky

Northwest yard's endless lawn

The infinity-edge lawn is bounded by a 30-inch-tall retaining wall that is tucked out of view from the house.

Allan Mandell

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An infinity pool, with its disappearing edge, leads the eye straight to the horizon. Apply the same concept to a lawn, and it frames the vista beyond while directing the eye away from nearer views that may not be as appealing.

That's exactly why Doug Naef created such a lawn at his Portland-area garden overlooking the Willamette River.

The house sits on a bank just above the floodplain, which supports a collection of boulders, logs, and willows that changes with the level of the river. His raised lawn edits out the cluttered view in the foreground and emphasizes the river and the wooded hills beyond.

To further direct attention toward the view, Naef framed the far side of the lawn with an extraordinary stone wall that hides both the driveway and street. The 7-foot-tall structure, made of local quarry rock ― as well as river rock retrieved from Naef's waterfront ― is built around a concrete core. Its dry-stack look mimics the retaining wall around the lawn and accentuates the garden's casual country style.


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