Few materials can match the natural beauty of a newly installed wood deck and fence, which were a dramatic transformation for this small backyard patio. A paraffin oil treatment brings out the rich colors of ipe, a hardwood with a 30 year life expectancy. We gave the fence a contemporary twist by running the boards horizontally and varying the width, gradually thinning them as they go up. The bluestone pavers add a bit of contrast to all the wood elements. In order to save space, our clients asked us to build planters into the fence itself, rather than resting any free-standing planters on the patio floor. Plantings include boxwoods, ‘Evergold’ sedges, ‘Guacamole’ hostas, ‘Pistache’ heucheras, and autumn ferns. All of the planters contain low-voltage lighting and drip irrigation lines set on automatic timers.