Two garden styles duke it out on this snug 60-by-100-foot lot. In front, drought-tolerant plants encircling a gravel courtyard offset the water demands of the backyard’s lawn and flower-packed borders. A garden house in back serves as a home workspace, while multiple seating areas—including a tree bench and dining sets on the pergola-covered patio, the back deck, and the gravel courtyard in front—encourage outdoor living nearly year-round.
A. In a shady corner of the backyard, a gnarly old ginkgo ringed by a tree bench shelters the entry to the garden house.
B. Perfect for a party, the long wood farm table beneath the back pergola seats a crowd. A potting bench off one side of the back patio gives Lidy a spot to display her latest antique finds.
C. Salt air gave the existing wood deck such a beating that John eventually rebuilt it using composite boards.
D. The back-garden flower beds bloom in a serene palette of white, pink, and blue. Here, sun-loving foxglove spires and blue larkspur mingle with billowy pink evening primrose and violet petunias.
E. A ‘Sterling Silver’ hybrid tea rose, a magenta-flowering butterfly bush, and lavenders surround a painted bench that John built to replicate a vintage one Lidy sold through her antiques business.
F. Drought-tolerant shrubs and trees, including rosemary, pittosporum, and lavender; potted lemons; and a front-and-center, nonfruiting ‘Wilsonii’ olive tree form the backbone of the front yard’s Provence-inspired planting scheme. At 30 inches tall, with evergreen plantings on both sides, the slatted front fence offers just enough year-round privacy without totally blocking the view from the street.
G. Semiprivate seating makes the front garden an inviting spot for morning coffee, reading, and neighborly conversation.