Adjacent planting beds soften the grid of concrete squares that makes up the patio. Lemon thyme, sea pink, and sedum warm the area below a majestic Italian stone pine.
Berkeley sedge, 'Carman's Japanese' rush, and pheasant's tail grass ( Stipa arundinacea) ― along with a fragment of a basalt column ― add interest near the front door.
Though the owners have more garden space than they did before, they have fewer chores. "It's now a garden to be in, not work in," Rick says. "There's not an ounce of adrenaline in it."
Because the front yard was too small for a separate garden, the new outdoor living area had to blend in with the rest of the entry landscaping. Yet the space needed privacy too.
Solution 1: Glamorize the firepit A rustic design that evokes a campfire is fun in some settings, but this landscape called for something bolder. The custom, L-shaped concrete firepit is clean and sculptural, especially with a layer of bright gold glass to disguise its function.
Aside from hiding the gas burners, the glass mulch (made from recycled Chardonnay bottles) adds a touch of theater. When the burners are lit, the glass glows "like a fire jewel," O'Donnell says.