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Photo: Art Gray

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This garden courtyard provides a welcome escape from the summer heat. Timber bamboo, which quickly grows to 35 to 40 feet, screens the perimeter. The reflecting pool has an evaporative, cooling effect as the water flows over the leading edge down to a trough just below grade. The platform and steps off the dining area and master bedroom double as seating, turning the courtyard into a true outdoor room and an urban oasis.

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