Before: The "Mud Pit"A year ago ex-Marines Jason and Renee Tatum bought a newly-built home on the outskirts of Los Angeles. They chose everything from the window trims to the floors, but when it came to the outside, they ran out of dollars and ideas. Host Matt James has to use all his imagination to transform this small space.
What they'd love to have is a place where they can relax after work and find some solace, and Renee would especially like it to be spa-like. She likes the large brick wall that surrounds it, so Matt needs to preserve the brick-wall look while still providing focal points and greenery to break up its massiveness.
After: A Palm-Enhanced Urban SpaThe finished landscape features natural stone paving that ties in with the home's interior, built-in seating, bold plantings of palms and even an outdoor grill.
Doing the DiagonalSetting the walkways at opposing angles to the house also breaks up the boxy nature of the yard. The palms give the garden instant impact, plus lend valuable shade in a sunny climate. The trunks provide a strong vertical interest, and the exotic fronds soften the brick wall.
"Floating" BenchesWhen the grill is not in use, it can be rolled into a far corner out of the way.