Perfect Perspective: California Garden from Pedersen Associates

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It’s hard to go wrong when you’ve got views like the ones at this Tiburon, California, site ¬— just keep anything else out of the way! Still, that can be a challenge in its own right for a family that wants outdoor entertaining and green space too. That’s where Pedersen Associates came in to help make the most of a limited space in the yard, while preserving the stunning vistas around it. A green roof over the pool cabana makes good use of a garden area that’s small and slanted — while at the same time expanding the usable space of lawn and back yard. Looking down from the balcony of the home, it’s easy to be amazed: there’s no wasted space in this layout, but there’s no sense of crowding, either.

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The compact space encompasses a gorgeous small lawn; an outdoor kitchen, dining table, and chairs grouped around a fireplace (and stairs leading to the house); plus a pool — and fire pit! Variegated stone provides visual interest; a sheltered portico, formed by the overhang of the upper level of the house, provides additional seating for gazing out at the Golden Gate Bridge and Sausalito across the bay. Generous use of heather and native grasses dresses up the inclines of the garden, while a neat fountain ornaments the retaining wall. It may have started out as a space that presented a few obstacles along the way, but those have been handled with elegance, colorful plantings, and an efficient layout that makes the most of the property.

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