Garden Revival

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Some gardens are are for planting flowers. Others are for meditating. This space, designed and built to resemble a section of the immense park-like gardens at Versailles, is for family fun and entertainment.

The Nashville, Tenn., homeowners wanted an attractive space for this purpose, and landscape architect Mary Palmer Dargan designed a balanced, symmetrical and functional backyard. Like the famous gardens in France, this area is also filled with decorative landscaping and walkways.

The 30-by-50-foot gunite pool built by Madison Swimming Pool Co. not only fits the traditional design motif, it's also big enough to accommodate the growing family that uses it. The children, naturally, wanted a diving board, so the pool has a 9-foot-deep diving well.

"We're seeing a trend that we're not doing as many diving boards," says James Wilkes, owner of the Goodlettsville, Tenn., builder. "But on a pool this size, they generally want a board."

The limestone deck coordinates with the 3-inch-thick limestone, bullnose coping, as well as the limestone stepping stones arranged with care in the grass. "The stones are flush with the ground," says Wilkes, "so when they cut the grass, they can just go over the top of them with the lawnmower."

If only the gardeners at Versailles had it that easy.

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