Outdoor living: Carefree, Arizona

Sunset  – November 24, 2004

Marlene Dietrich would have felt right at home in this desert garden. Dramatic lines, an elegant pool, and exquisite stone paving make a setting fit for a movie star.

But in spite of its refined appearance, the garden has a practical side too: it’s wheelchair accessible.

Sliding glass doors open the house directly onto a level, covered patio-pavilion. “The open pavilion is like an extension of the interior,” said one juror. Wide paths lead around the garden.

Landscape architect Gregory Trutza designed the garden to complement the house’s contemporary adobe style. A graduated rear wall frames the pool and the mountain view; higher sections block out nearby development.

Night lighting is an important feature, since the owners enjoy entertaining; lighting on the trees, in the wall, and inside the pavilion sets the garden aglow by night. This space, like Dietrich, is charming at any hour of the day.

A large, angular pool and detached spa offer plenty of opportunities for dipping, no matter what the weather. Elegant patio pavers are Pietra travertine. A gas firepit, set in black Mexican beach pebbles, adds a sense of drama at night.

Designer: Gregory Trutza, New Directions in Landscape Architecture, Phoenix (602/998-4399)

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