Charming Weekend Cottage Renovation in Marin

A Bay Area landscape designer works her yard like a jigsaw puzzle, packing a bevy of distinctive destinations into a steep and diminutive plot.

Until a few years ago, Loretta Gargan had spent her entire career as a landscape designer creating outdoor havens for other people, without a proper yard to call her own. But don’t feel sorry for her: She never felt deprived. "I’ve always interpreted a feeling of nature wherever I am, no matter the context," she says. "Even putting big branches in a vase or arranging rocks—that’s enough to make me happy. It’s not about the space; it’s about envisioning what you can do with what you have."

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