This regional landscape is located in the back yard of a two-story beach-side residence. From much of the house the landscape is used as a viewing garden. The shell motif was chosen to unify the garden and tie it to the ocean landscape beyond. The spiral shape defines the patio through the use of flagstone and a tumbled beach glass accent band. A central fire bowl and rope light below the glass band, provide soft mood lighting in the evening.
Some difficult problems on this property led to unique design opportunities. Because the property lies on a sensitive coastal site, all built elements have to be removable rather than permanent. Curved dry-stack stone planters in the corners help soften the otherwise boxy sea wall enclosing the property. The walls are painted the same color as the beach sand so that they disappear into the shore beyond.
A large concrete footing and sump pump near the house made it impossible to plant in the ground. Abstracting from the beach below, this area became a miniature beach of its own through the use of various sizes of Mexican pebbles and stones. A driftwood art piece and diamond plate steel “dog steps” soften the massive structural retaining wall on the north edge of the yard. Corten steel fire and planter bowls are used to work with the corrosive sea air and give the garden an aged feeling.
The garden is completed with the use of grasses and other coastal growing plants, which tie the garden to the natural surroundings and contribute to a landscape that is appealing throughout the year.