Surviving on rainfall only, the native palms and opuntia making up the flat front yard lined an unremarkable straight, narrow walkway. We recycled some palm trunks as pillars and stained broken-up concrete to build a low wall. Now desert plantings are growing in fast, and the new walkway is softly off center for a graceful approach to the house.
Previously, the entry courtyard had no window views to the mountains, and the sun from the west beat down mercilessly on the wall. A new bank of french windows and simple overhead beams open up to pleasing views and a more usable courtyard.
After two years of inoccupancy, everything had died on the property. But the surrounding views remained terrific! Now color blocking of the aqua pool and a rich color palette play with the new native washingtonia palm and agaves.
Previously, the large yard with pool boasted neither shade nor any interesting features—it was the very epitome of bleak! Among other things, a date palm was planted as a natural umbrella near a tiled water feature. In addition, the olive trees define a generous seating area upholstered in green (this has become a “lawn”).
Compare the barrenness of the “before” with the “after” view of the property, now resurrected by the newly installed Talevera-tiled water feature, seating area, and fire pit. What a difference!
Here is a more detailed “before-and-after” view of the corner of the back yard where the seating area and fire pit were installed. Can you imagine a more pleasant place to gather with friends at dusk and enjoy a bottle of wine?