Magazine article Sunset

Front Yard Facelift

Magazine article Sunset

Front Yard Facelift

Article excerpt

One backyard-deprived Portland gardener finds a playful space to call her own

WHEN KETZEL levine bought her North Portland bungalow in 2000, it had everything - almost. "What I really wanted was a backyard, and the house didn't have one," Ketzel says. What she got instead was an exposed front yard with predictable twin patches of lawn on either side of a straight concrete path.

So the journalist - you may know her from National Public Radio, where she was called the Doyenne of Dirt - reinvented the front yard for relaxing, entertaining, and expressing her vivid personality. 'Tm not a very conservative person," she says. 'There's nothing predictable about my life."

After enclosing the yard with a mostly see-through fence and ditching the lawn, Ketzel created a playful garden that's an escape from the busy street just steps away. "When I walk through the gate, I feel cosseted by beauty," she says.

[Sidebar]

Mixed paving and foliage plants, plus pops of vivid color, dress up the yard.

SECRETS OF HER STYLE

"I look at the color combo and find it delicious. …

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