1 patio, 3 looks

Quick fixes: Three designers give a bare garden corner the Cinderella treatment

Create island magic
"I love tropical places," says landscape designer Davis Dalbok, who cultivates his own jungle-inspired gardens in Fairfax, California, and on Hawaii's Big Island.

A globe-trotter, Dalbok finds products and inspiration for his San Francisco store wherever he goes, but especially in places like Bali and Brazil. His patio features exotic furnishings, flamboyant plants, and the colors of a lush lagoon.

Choose island hues "Hot lime is the quintessential green, and aqua's the color of the warmest tropical seas," Dalbok says. "Together these two colors tell the whole story." Use them in pillows and furnishings, then spice up the palette with orange and yellow flowers.

Pot up tropicals Cluster them in large decorative containers grouped around the patio's perimeter. Place big, bold-leaf plants (elephant's ear) in back and shorter ones (croton) in front. Hide the fence with a row of lacy clumping bamboos.

Provide fragrance Dalbok cut bunches of yellow kahili ginger from his California garden to display in a large vase.

-Kathleen N. Brenzel

INFO Balinese recycled-teak lounge chair ($1,950), Balinese hand-painted cotton temple umbrellas ($55 each), Balinese lantern of hand-cut tin with lime-colored cotton insets ($375, also available in red, white, and orange), crackle-glazed yellow cache pot ($65), Chinese ceramic garden stool in turquoise ($550), and lime green pillows ($70?$116) from Living Green, San Francisco; 415/864-2251.

One-of-a-kind items include the 18th-century Spanish storage jar with original finish ($1,600) and Thai ceramic processional elephants ($3,500 for a pair; reproductions of 16th-century designs from the Sukhothai kilns) from Living Green (see above).
Striped pillows are designer's own.

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