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Lucas Valley

Hot summer winds scour the hillsides in Lucas Valley in Marin. This contemporary home needed wind protection for a private patio used as a relaxing "outdoor room." Concrete slabs were poured in place and we planted soft, low-growing chamomile, feverfew and lemon thyme in the spaces. Walking barefoot on them releases their gentle fragrances.

The elegant poplars lined up on the side provide an effective windscreen and privacy. A Japanese maple is the focal point of the easy-care front lawn. It is surrounded by water-wise prostrate juniper. A low hedge draws the eye to the entrance door in the tempered glass screen.

Architect: Jay Thayer www.jaythayer.com