A Front-Yard Pool and Garden with Privacy by Grace Design Associates

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This garden has a bluff-top location and a great island view, with a slight problem: no way to keep the sight lines clear for that view without putting the outdoor living space — including a pool —in the front yard! To make that feasible, Grace Design Associates set about balancing the need for privacy and protection of the home against the detrimental effect of putting in too big or too solid of a barricade. As an additional challenge, a 60-year-old Dragon Tree was on the property, and everyone wanted to protect and preserve it. The plan thus became twofold: to build the garden with the tree as inspiration, and to find a wall style that could provide privacy for the pool and outdoor area without presenting an off-putting façade.

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The privacy solution came first: a frosted glass wall around the pool. A modern style of “fence,” it provides needed screening with a bonus — as a shadow wall for sculptural plantings. Concrete pavers form a path around the Dragon Tree and lead to the entry of the home, while a low-level “grapestake” vegetable garden is outside the glass wall, encouraging neighborly conversation. Mediterranean plantings and low-voltage LED lights create a soothing “Zen” atmosphere that invites evening dining and gathering around the fire pit. Thanks to a cantilevered deck, native plants, and a bocce court, the bluff side of the house has gone from bare, narrow strip to well-used space. Best of all, everything was done without limiting the homeowners’ views: they can see everything from pelicans feeding to surfers on the waves, right from their kitchen table!

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