We have 5 ways to turn a bleak lawn and driveway into a lush, livable garden.
Put up some color panels
Step 1: Put up some color panels
Freestanding panels of thick, cranberry-hued glass (anchored in concrete) provide the illusion of privacy.
Add vivid plants
Step 2: Add vivid plants
Orange epidendrums and a photinia hedge with red new leaves flank the center panel. Dymondia, Mexican weeping bamboo, Pittosporum crassi folium 'Nana' cool the heat.
Build a pole fence
Step 3: Build a pole "fence"
Lodgepole pine posts, their bases also anchored in concrete, are staggered to allow light through.
Make the firepit multiuse
Step 4: Make the "firepit" multiuse
A concrete water trough doubles as a reflecting pool and an ice bucket for chilling drinks during parties. Gas jets in its back rim feed flames.
Add a sitting area
Step 5: Add a sitting area
This one occupies the part of the driveway just outside the garage; cushions top the built-in bench, while redwood strips freshen the cinder-block wall behind.
Related: 18 front yard makeovers