We were hired by an interior designer friend to develop a design for her family’s backyard, situated one block from Brooklyn’s historic Greenwood Cemetery. The site provided a wonderful challenge: how to design a child-friendly garden with a limited budget on a site that had an existing 10’x12′ underground concrete structure that resembled a bomb-shelter in the middle of the yard. The client nick-named this dark cavern “the murder pit” and was at a loss for how to deal with it without incurring a costly removal. We proposed several concepts that suggested opening the structure up to the sky and creating a garden or greenhouse within the sunken space. The final design creates a sunken rain garden within the pit with a small wood deck sitting area floating above it. A guardrail along the top of the garden wall will double as a vine trellis, providing a green veil to enclose the sunken garden. Dense ornamental plantings and a vegetable garden provide a green backdrop for the rest of the back yard.