If you find yourself in possession of a dirt pile, what are your options? Plant grass, do some xeriscaping, create a bee- and butterfly-friendly garden, buy a lounge chair? That's pretty much all I can think of, so I was blown away when I saw what this California homeowner ended up with...
And here's the backyard now—it's so California dreamy! The concrete and black palette is ultra-chic, elegant yet organic, and it lets the plants be the stars. Just imagine how fabulous this is going to look in a couple of years when the plantings have filled in! The entire project fits into its surroundings so perfectly; it's bold and full of style but neither flashy nor attention-demanding.
Here's what it looked like during the project, which shows what a massive undertaking this is — perhaps requiring a bit more work and planning than simply scattering some grass seed. All of the work was done by Landmark Building, and this enviable project was submitted by reader Rachel.
This is the same view at night, which shows the subtle play of light and shadows — so much more inviting and intriguing than floodlights and their ilk, and the lights themselves are so graceful. The understated lighting scheme is also quite considerate: it doesn't flood the neighbors' homes with intrusive brightness.
This is the stairway down from the house; the long, shallow steps encourage a leisurely pace. I love the variety of plant heights, and those occasional lines of teeny tufts between the cement blocks are ridiculously adorable.
This is the seating area closest to the house. It's set up well for chatting and admiring the view, and it's a nice in-between area when the residents don't want to trek all the way down to the dining table.
I just wanted you to have a chance to admire the plants in all their glory and cuteness.
Thank you, Rachel and Landmark Building!