Informed by a strong clarity of intent and an economy of means, the transformation of this backyard resulted in a simple yet highly functional space. The existing layout was mostly preserved but some of its attributes were enhanced: the irregularly sloping ground was flattened and retained by a single aluminum riser; its perimeter defined with a custom cedar fence, and the ad-hoc parking spot clearly marked. A spectacular magnolia was also protected and granted greater attention. A “single plane approach” dictated that beds, lawn, pathway and wooden deck all be flush with each other. Columnar beeches create privacy without casting too much shade and foliage-based plantings ensure evergreen interest. Completed Summer 2016.