Gardening in small places

From our neighbors Lew and Lynn Rakowsky

modernist fence

modernist fence

LEW: When we bought the house in 2002, we were drawn to the its Spanish Revival style. Unfortunately, the small backyard was entirely covered in concrete, surrounded by a 4-foot tall brick wall covered in ivy and vines. It was very neglected.
We had some gardeners come in and jack-hammer out all that, remove the concrete, the brick wall and ivy to open the space up.  Then we installed a simple, modernist fence to provide privacy, but still allow for air flow.

LYNN:  Given its small size, we really wanted to maximize the outdoor space as much as possible. It was important to create usable space throughout, including a garden, seating areas, places where friends could gather, and a place to simply read a book.  Ultimately, we wanted a welcoming, usable environment; an extension of the house.

cat and bouganvillea

cat and bouganvillea

LYNN: We put in a drip-line sprinkler and we used drought resistant plants, we also grow some vegetables each season, focusing on tomatoes, lettuces, peas and broccoli.  We usually buy them at the farmers markets as little seedlings.

LEW:  One of the highlights of the property is the 70-year old bougainvillea which creates a beautiful canopy over the dining area. In the summer, it becomes a solid wall of red blooms; a cool place to escape the heat.

The next project is to pave the patio dining area with terra-cotta tiles, as we did in the walkway along the side of the house.

Share the hidden beauty of your backyards!

Photos by Elisa Leonelli

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by 24th Street Homeower on June 11, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    Oh, that looks really cool. Fun and relaxing too. The horizontal fence absolutely makes it! I’m getting inspired! Thanks.


  2. Posted by Casey on August 1, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    I love that fence! Could you tell me where you got it? Thanks!


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