A Mediterranean courtyard gets an urban edge

At first glance, the entry garden of the home of Karyn Lovegrove and Peter Leak appears contemporary in style. Look longer, though, and you’ll realize that this Los Angeles courtyard actually follows traditional Mediterranean garden design in most respects. There’s the same symmetrical layout with a central fountain as its focal point; the familiar palette of restful gray-green foliage and violet-blue flowers; and the customary use of containers and neatly sheared plants as sculptural elements. But landscape designer Kathleen Ferguson altered the familiar Mediterranean treatment in a few simple ways to give this garden a fresh spin.

The fountain in the center looks as if it’s poured concrete but is actually built of concrete blocks covered with a stucco finish. Instead of stone pavers, Ferguson surrounded it with concrete tiles. And in lieu of terra-cotta urns and olive jars ― often found in traditional Mediterranean gardens ― she chose square concrete planters. But the plants she selected are still traditional ― clipped boxwood and ‘Tiny Tower’ Italian cypress in the containers, and fragrant lavender around the perimeter; billowy sweet lavender (Lavandula x heterophylla) was used on the sunny side of the yard and more shade-tolerant ‘Goodwin Creek Grey’ across from it. The garden is “our little haven,” Lovegrove says. “We love the scent, the textures, the sound of the water.”

Design: Kathleen Ferguson Landscapes, Los Angeles www.kathleenferguson.com or 323/221-2248

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