3. Make Features Do Double Duty (cont'd)
Similarly, a low, curved, stone-veneer wall along the upper patio defines the eating area while its bluestone cap doubles as casual seating. Susan also uses the wall as a shelf for colorful containers all year long, changing the plantings to reflect the seasons. Annual flowering plants that fill the pots in spring, summer, and fall are switched out for evergreen boughs and twigs in winter. The frost-proof fiberglass containers weather the elements without problem. When guests arrive, the planters can be moved to make space to set out trays of drinks or hors d'oeuvres at party time.