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Landscape architect Chuck McCulloch created an interplay of stone, brick and wood to meet the challenge of creating a flat backyard for hillside home in Orinda. The rear wall of the ranch-style home has nearly 10 sets of French doors to take advantage of the commanding view. Dan Fix combined diverse material to extend the usable area, even incorporating a little waterfall.

A stone semicircle defines the backyard and has a Japanese Maple at the centerpoint. Wood decking cantilevered over the hillside surrounds the apex of the stone semicircle. A hemisphere of brick fills the stone outline. Water tumbles over rocks near the intersection of the three elements: the wood deck, the stone circle and the brick paving. Stone steps lead to a curving lawn surrounded by stone retaining walls. The slide-show below shows the distinctive features.

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