Design: Beth Mullins, Growsgreen Landscape Design (growsgreen.com), San Francisco
When it comes to backyard landscaping, it’s all about working with you have. Mullins, of Growsgreen Landscape Design, mixed old brick with new, added horizontal fencing and a patch of grass, and used a muted planting palette to create an updated entertainer’s garden. She started by implementing a series of slight grade changes. The decision was both functional (it saves hauling tons of dirt) and design oriented (visitors feel that they’re stepping into a series of rooms). An existing canopy of a pepper tree and a palm were somewhat overwhelming, so Mullins strung cafe lights to create a lower, more intimate ceiling—much more inviting to visitors.