Magical Los Gatos Residential Landscape by Zeterre Landscape Architects

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When is a retaining wall more than a retaining wall? At the same point, when is a car parking space more than a parking space, a motor court more than a motor court: when it’s transformed into an effective and beautiful landscaping element? That’s what happens to this “ordinary” Los Gatos residential landscape when Zeterre gets a hold of it. See that brilliant white-and-green “sparkler” effect as glimpsed from above? That’s only the beginning; there’s a squared “pergola” with hanging contemporary ornaments at one point; there’s a series of breathtaking terraced beds of purple and native grass at another. See that retaining wall? It’s pure white now, with pillars — fronted by a wavy raised bed of succulents and other native plants, themselves behind a retaining wall of multicolored stone.

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The swimming pool is a long, turquoise rectangle, shaded by swaying palms and edged by yet more terraced beds that line the steps down from parking to patio. You can see an Oriental influence in a series of arbors — squared-off white arches without greenery climbing them, but providing a neat frame for the riot of color on either side. Like fountains? There’s a brushed-steel curved version welcoming you around a turn in the entrance drive. Seen from above, the garden is two symmetrical halves bisected by blue stone; seen from its own level, it’s a dazzling mix of Oriental influences and ultra-contemporary style that Zeterre uses to transform parking spaces, a pool, and a yard into a seamless entity that is simultaneously a splendid outdoor living space and a work of art.

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