photo by E. Spencer Toy

Choose vivid hues and lush textures and watch your backyard come alive

Peter O. Whiteley,  – March 5, 2008

Red, yellow, and blue are brave choices in a garden – an exuberant approach to landscape design. But Moshe and Fegie Barkan’s 15-foot-wide backyard in Studio City, California, pulls off the feat with style. “Things feel more alive with color,” says Fegie, an artist.

The palette’s genesis was the imposing citrus yellow fireplace, designed to pop out of a gray retaining wall.

Plantings emphasize lush textures and graceful forms rather than color, allowing hardscape and accessories to take center stage.

The yard is treated as rooms: a personal retreat, a dining patio, and a living area, where the couple can cozy up to the fire in lounge chairs (Gisele chairs, $950 each; Design Within Reach; 800/944-2233).


Three primary hues, one relatively small backyard. The secret to making it all work? Let one color shine, and repeat the other two sparingly amid soft greenery.

 INFO: Landscape design: Rob Pressman, TGP Landscape Architecture, Encino, CA; 818/907-8460. Architecture: Jeffrey Michael Tohl, The Architecture Studio, Los Angeles; 310/652-7890.

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