Graphic elements enlarge garden
Bold shapes and simple plantings help a small Palo Alto yard appear bigger
Modest gardens can seem bigger if you eliminate clutter, limit materials, and highlight the details. That’s especially important if you live in a contemporary house on a small lot, as Norman Adams does in the Greenmeadow neighborhood of Palo Alto. Before Adams’s garden got a makeover, it was overgrown and had no distinct style. With the goal of creating a landscape that would complement the architecture of his newly renovated Eichler home, Adams turned to architect Mark Marcinik (who also designed the house remodel) to give shape to the garden.
Marcinik repeated the home’s clean lines by incorporating square pavers, rectangular garden beds, and a gridlike glass-and-metal fence. He worked with landscape designer and contractor Elliot Goliger to simplify the plant palette. “Because the materials are limited, each element stands out more,” Goliger says.
A “green driveway,” made of 1- by 1-foot pavers interplanted with tall fescue, extends across the front of the garage. The single expanse of lawn serves as both driveway and entry path. Carefully chosen elements ― including the pavers, pots, and sculptural pieces ― provide bold finishing touches.