Changes of level create an unexpected topography and increasedprivacy in this once-flat yard in Chatsworth, California. A carefullyorchestrated plan allows the yard to have a sunken pool 2 feet belowgrade, a trellis with its base at the original level of the yard, and agently sloping grassy area that rolls down from a slumpstone wall. “Landscraping” is what Santa Monica landscape architectMichael Kobayashi calls the yard conversion–much of the soil excavatedfor the pool was merely moved to one side to create a grassy hill. Thesoil was backfilled against the wall, making it appear shorter–on theneighbor’s side it measures a full 6 feet.
Despite the sunken pool, the yard drains well. A surveyordetermined the proper grading levels so that runoff flows to the street.Additional drain lines run behind the brick walls that rise from thepool on the three raised sides. The owner-builder is Gary Peterson of American Landscape, Inc.