Covering a patchwork of concrete with AstroTurf was the first solution that came to mind when the Sharkey family thought of redoing the backyard of their San Francisco home. For Emily, a stay-at-home mom, and Michael, who works in finance, the priority was to create a low-maintenance space where their three exuberant girls, Carolina, Serafina, and Madeleine (ages 4, 6, and 8), could romp freely. But rather than take the expedient route, they connected with local landscape designer Monica Viarengo. She brought in a multitude of elements—space-saving vertical gardens, a massive water wall, and a joyful mural—while meeting her clients’ requirements for minimal upkeep. The result is a colorful urban garden that both children and adults can enjoy.
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