This contemporary Boerum Hill, Brooklyn backyard features a horizontal ipe (pronounced ee-pay) fence, bluestone patio, artificial turf, and a neatly lined row of hornbeam trees. Artificial turf has come a long way in recent years and is much more realistic looking than it used to be. For urban yards that are often shaded by trees, fences, walls, and nearby buildings, traditional sod simply doesn’t get enough sunlight to thrive. Artificial turf still provides the lush, green look of grass and has the added benefit of no mowing required. We recommend using non-petroleum based, eco-friendly varieties of turf, which are safer for children and pets and better for the environment. The fence is given a contemporary twist by alternating the board widths in places and adding a frosted plexiglass border along the top. The fence has been oiled with Penofin to bring out the natural richness of the wood. Colorful underplantings inlcude red azaleas, purple rhododendrons, variegated hostas, yellow pansies, and black mondo grass. All of the garden beds contain low-voltage lighting and drip irrigation lines.