Poolside enclave

San Fernando Valley, CA. A swimming pool can easily dominate a small backyard. But designer Lynn Scott-Smith knew exactly what to do in this Valley Glen property: remove the surrounding concrete and plant an "enchanted forest glen" between the back porch and the pool. "A remarkable transformation," noted a juror. "The plantsmanship is superb."

Using plants appropriate to the climate, Scott-Smith surrounded a diminutive pond and creek with ferns, Italian buckthorn, pines, and woodland plants such as columbine, coral bells, and violets. A winding path of bluestone connects the house to the pool and a new patio.

DESIGN: Ambiance Landscape Design, Los Angeles ( www.losangeleslandscaper.com or 323/227-5979)

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