Lakeshore Studio Garden

About This Project

In its previous incarnation a narrow side yard corridor served as a sloped concrete driveway that was seldomly used. We transformed the corridor by building a generously wide stepped garden path that leads to a studio shed in the rear corner of the backyard. We worked with a specialty studio shed contractor to fit the modern style shed into the tight space.

We installed three corten steel planters to line the stepped path made of cast-in-place concrete risers with steel edging and decomposed granite treads. The planters feature purple hop seed bush, also known as dodonaea viscosa purpurea, to create a visual screen of the neighboring property. Purple hop seed bush is a fast growing and drought tolerant evergreen shrub that attracts birds and butterflies and is easily grown in well-drained soils. At the base of a modern style path light, we planted “Elijah Blue” fescue, a drought-tolerant ornamental grass that adds a radiant blue color and texture to gardens.

We doubled the usable backyard space by installing retaining walls and a large wooden deck. This created garden space for raspberries and blueberries, as well as avocado, oroblanco pomelo, mandarin satsuma, and fuyu persimmon trees. French doors open from the dining room onto the deck and lawn area. Cast concrete and corten steel retaining walls hold the hillside in place to make one large level space possible.