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At the highest point of the garden, a panel of lawn and an arbor seat mark the most meditative space. The seat is lovely to both look at and look out from, and like the cabana it has a clear roof, which makes it a magical place to be when it rains.
Plants were chosen to reenforce the overall plan. Evergreens define the structure of the garden, even in winter, and deciduous material adds seasonal interest to introduce the element of change. Schwartz over-planted slightly in an effort to establish the green walls and canopy that are so essential to creating the feeling of enclosure. Simplicity is key in a small space: Clutter is evidence of blocked energy, according to feng shui. "I love the flow and the fact that your eye isn't stopped by anything," Hippeau says.
Adjacent to the quiet part of the garden is a summer porch—an indoor-outdoor room so cleverly designed you aren't quite sure where one starts and the other stops. The space opens on two sides to the garden, and is defined by the same latticed arches used in the perimeter fence. The porch is unscreened: having lived in Brazil, Hippeau is blase about Connecticut bugs. She savors the openness of this space and loves having something so ephemeral. "It's like strawberries," she says, "or a perennial plant—something to be treasured while it's in season."