A Pool Of Perfect Harmony

March 17, 1991

WHAT IS PERFECTION IF IT NEVER CHANGES, NEVER grows? One couple, owners of an already perfect small garden with waterfall and fishpond, seized the opportunity to purchase the other half of their urban duplex, complete with the attached ++ lot. And suddenly their perfect garden seemed unbalanced.

They asked Arcadia landscape architect Walter Reynolds, designer of the original garden, to restore harmony to the area. The two sides, they explained to him, must relate to one another seamlessly, as if they had been planned together. They requested a free-form swimming pool but "not one of those pretty blue pools." They wanted it to appear as natural as possible so it could relate to the pond on the other side.

Today the garden has grown to fill the entire pie-shaped lot behind the house. Extensive stone decking and retaining walls by stonemason Primo Doria unify the outdoor area. The stones used for the walls appear to lie one atop the other without mortar, much like the old-fashioned stone walls erected to separate farm pastures. This is an illusion; Mr. Doria used mortar only on the side of the walls that were later filled with soil.

The 44-foot-long, poured-gunite swimming pool by Pleasure Pools is easily reached from the upper level of the house by way of a curving staircase. Set close to the house and slightly elevated is a hot tub. Natural gas provides temperature control.

Family and guests agree that in this garden, harmony has been reclaimed.

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