From Margaret Everton on May 27, 2010 in San Francisco
Trying to turn a cramped Oakland backyard into a lush lounge teeming with foliage sounds like a lost cause. But landscape designer Shirley Watts thought otherwise. Not only was she up to the challenge, but she made the entire space eco-friendly as well.
The area in need of an all-over remodel was not your average rectangular lot. It was small, to say the least, and measured an odd 12 feet wide at the far end, 20 feet closer to the house, and 54 feet long. In order to break it up, Watts divided it into two multifunctional spaces: a living/lounging patio area and a garden space with an accessible walkway.
The original grass was plagued with bald spots, so the entire yard was replaced with gravel. Not only did this cut down on the upkeep, it also allowed rainwater to be soaked up by the ground instead of ending up on the street.
Recycled steel trellises and raised flower beds make the garden area look clean and organized. Two steel-framed racks, originally used to store firewood, also aided in dividing the space. Colorful plants like asparagus retrofractus bring the yard to life.
Recognition for this beautiful backyard remodel came in the form of Alameda County’s Green Business certification. A sure sign of green success.