Amazing Backyard Escapes

    From a fire pit to a hammock, these backyards say outdoor entertaining — and relaxing.

    A Family Fire Pit

    For her Connecticut property, designer Bonnie Edelman carefully crafted a fire pit. “My parents always encouraged us: invest in your own property, not in country clubs,” says her husband, John. “So till bedtime it’s for s’mores and family bonding. After bedtime it’s romantic.” Designed with storage in mind, speakers are hidden in the walls of local stone, and logs are stacked under the benches.

    French Garden

    In William Christie’s 16th-century French countryside estate, the Cloister Garden features the classic rose Katharina Zeimet.

    Garden Dining Area

    Rustic yet refined, a 10-foot-long table sits in the center of landscape designer Lisa Bynon’s vegetable and cutting garden in Southampton New York. “You can’t really see this from the house, and it’s almost a five-minute walk across a stone terrace, the lawn, and a circular fern garden. I love the sense of surprise,” Bynon says. The Belgian oak furniture, Tuscan stoneware, handblown goblets, vase, and linen napkins all come from Bloom in Sag Harbor. A graphic cedar deer fence encloses formal raised planting beds.
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