Who hasn't dreamed of a backyard office in a garden oasis? When this San Francisco family had outgrown their kiddie garden setup (complete with a lawn and zipline), they turned to landscape architect Scott Lewis Landscape Architecture to help make this backyard more grownup. The children had gotten older outgrown the lawn and the parents wanted a backyard office and a tranquil zen location for the couple's plants, so they decided to overhaul the backyard structure which had once been the shed, and turn it into a lush garden art studio, which is ticking all the boxes on our home workspace wishlist! Filled with some of the owners' favorite trees and with layered green and white plantings, the garden also backs onto a park. Click through for more images of this inviting and tranquil live-work space.
Scott Lewis Landscape Architects were tapped for the Presidio Park garden renovation after working on another project for the owners. The family’s children were growing and didn’t need the yard for playtime anymore, so it was time to transform the patchy old lawn into a space more suited to entertaining.
A large wedge of bluestone pavers were laid down for practicality and to draw the eye to the end of the garden, which abuts the wilder space of the Presidio. The utilitarian shed was renovated into a working studio space and then clad with a metal frame, over which ivy was trained. The resulting “green cube” is a highlight of the garden.
Several existing trees were retained in the renovation, including a Japanese maple and a Japanese black pine. The house itself was not renovated until a year after the garden transformation was complete.
These were then planted out with an understory of rhododendrons, viburnums, and Japanese snowbell trees, among others, as well as ground covers including hellebores, sweet white violets, wild ginger and anemones. A climbing rose provides privacy for the seating area in summer, and all the plantings were selected to provide texture and visual interest throughout the changing seasons.
In a project statement, Lewis writes: “This project proves that contemporary forms can join lush plantings to create an inviting environment. Bordering a wooded city park, this garden blends modern angles and green and white flora. A wedge-shaped terrace visually widens the site and extends the home’s living area out toward the park. The property’s art studio became a green cube focal point. The aesthetic of the home’s modern interior is reflected in the distinctive lines of this refreshing garden.”
The entire garden and studio space fits within a narrow 50- by 25-foot yard.