Every garden needs at least one area where you can shut out the world. This entry in a 1960s-modern home in Paradise Valley, Arizona, is that spot for landscape designer Brian Kissinger and his partner Todd McCandless.
Why it works: With its front gates closed (frosted-glass panes let in light), the courtyard becomes a private outdoor room. A canopy of date palms shades a small collection of subtropical plants and helps cool the space in summer.
Adapt the idea: Don’t have a whole courtyard to play with? Block off a corner near your entry with a trellis, train a vine to clamber over it, then tuck a bench behind.