A durable, contemporary garden provides context-sensitive gathering spaces that celebrate dramatic topographic changes on a northern slope. New stone retaining walls rise from a carpet of native ferns, forming the foundation of a lush, terraced garden. A multi-level mahogany deck with stainless-steel railings extends over site walls and overlooks a stunning stand of mature hemlocks. New wood staircases provide several flexible circulation routes from the house and encourage movement across the platforms. The garden accommodates both large and small gatherings. An elegant in-wall staircase exhibits efficient beauty and becomes a conversation piece. A new sugar maple blocks unappealing views, and a transplanted tree hydrangea becomes a dazzling late summer focal point. Fountain grasses soften deck edges, while a casual grove of lilacs spill flowers through the railings in late spring. In the front, the removal of overgrown perimeter plants reveals an elegant façade, and a new perennial border merges with the existing yews to create an inviting threshold into the property.