The Big Idea: Its centerpiece is a 20- × 20-foot terrace that sits about 2 feet lower than the surrounding grade. Stepping down into it feels like entering a room. Oklahoma flagstones cut into various-size rectangles form the floor.
The Plants: Four 'October Glory' red maples provide dependable fall color (even in the Lower South); rosemary in matching planters helps focus your eye on the table and keeps you from stepping off the retaining wall; dichondra seeded between flagstones gives a softer look.
The Details: A low stone wall around the terrace adds a sense of enclosure and offers extra seating.