Magazine article Sunset

They Started with Just a Lawn, a Wall, and a Steep Bank

Magazine article Sunset

They Started with Just a Lawn, a Wall, and a Steep Bank

Article excerpt

A curse became a blessing in this Pasadena remodel. Here, an uninspired retaining wall holding back a bank of ivy became a dramatically terraced rear wall for the new pool.

With the remodel, Sally and Bill Holbrook's back yard went from mostly lawn to mostly pool, but there's much more

to the metamorphosis than that. The original garden behind their 25-year-old house consisted of a fairly level expanse of lawn and a steep bank of ivy supported by an 18-inch- to 3-foot-tall brick retaining wall running all the way across the garden. The ivy dominated the view.

When the Holbrooks told landscape ar-

chitect Michael Schmidt that they wanted to include a swimming pool and enough space to entertain around it, he realized he could put the original retaining wall to work in a new way. While most of the old wall became the back of the new pool, some of it also became the support for generous brick-paved pads that border the

pool and step up the slope to a seating area and to a spa. …

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