Magazine article Sunset

"Ruining" the Garden

Magazine article Sunset

"Ruining" the Garden

Article excerpt

A California family builds a new ancient wall

Some families take vacations in summer to stay connected with each other. Others play sports. But the Haleva family of Fair Oaks, California, constructed a ruined wall two years ago, with a pond in front, that looks like a relic of southern Italy in ancient times.

"It was one of our best summers together," says Sharon Ecker-Haleva, who joined her husband, Jerry Haleva, and sons Kevin, 22, and Michael, 15, on the project. "We all worked together trying out each other's ideas. We're very proud of it."

The project began after the removal of a dying oak tree left a large void in the family's backyard. Around the same time, Haleva acquired a pair of 300-year-old Tunisian doors from Sacramento landscape architect Michael Glassman. Glassman suggested the idea of a wall structure, but the Halevas created and built it. …

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