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This is Julie, matching her pillows.

Our friends Julie and Brian have one of my favorite backyards. The space has a lower patio where they have dinner parties on a long Spanish table is surrounded by a retaining wall planted with lush roses, lavender, alyssum and sometimes tomatoes. The upper level has a sloping grass lawn–perfect for cartwheels, a fire pit area with chairs for lounging and borders of citrus and cannas. The upper level has another patio, a loggia type structure and the kids’ trampoline.  Julie decided to freshen up for summer and to redecorate her lounging area now that Brian put a tin roof on the arbors that make the outdoor room at the top of the hill. They had us over to see their hard work and have some snacks and of course, fabulous cocktails.

Here’s my Better Homes  & Gardens shot of the outdoor living room. I love the turquoise and orange. The curtains block the wind and sun (and I’ll tell you a secret–you can get them at Ikea. They are regular curtains. Pillows at Home Depot–if any are left!)

The patio fountain:

Here’s the jalapeno poppers they made from scratch with chiles from our friend Dulce’s garden:

Yum-yum. Get the recipe here: Sunset Magazine July 2012 edition.

Julie is a designer, and I think the colors in her new garden room are fabulous. Don’t you? Orange and blue, my favorites.  As we ate our jalapenos in her new room, seated on the newly rosewood oiled teak furniture, we planned the next few weeks of gardening. September is coming and that is a busy month in San Diego. I can’t wait for my family to be occupied with football on TV so I can go outside and garden–hee, hee. Really! Okay back to the yard– it looks amazing. Here are more pictures of all the outdoor “living room” type areas they have interspersed in their yard–maybe it will give you ideas next time you want to create a garden room!

For lounging time! (Not much of that when you are busy gardening!)

Beautiful retaining walls from salvaged concrete patio. I love the roses and lavender planted along it. Some years, they mix in tomatoes. Those chairs surround the firepit. I like that they have lots of thick gravel to outline the different areas.

Sorry, Brian! I don’t have your photo! You were too busy cooking!

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