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Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Specializing in colorful, water-conserving gardens

Mediterranean Garden

  • The stiff, upright leaves of variegated Tasman flax lilies provide a spiky, vertical contrast to the fluffy gray mounds of artemisia and the relaxed, purple wands of Mexican sage. While the decomposed granite paths provide the primary ways to stroll through the garden, gaps between informal groupings of plants provide additional opportunities to wander.

  • My plan called for a naturalistic streambed here, along with a variety of ornamental grasses, including autumn moor grass and fountain grass. The homeowner orchestrated this outstanding result, which is also pictured in "Reimagining the California Lawn," published by Cachuma Press.

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Care for a Stroll?

Patterson Mesa

Perched on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean, this garden features graceful, curving paths, a tumbled stone stream bed, and a collection of colorful plants perfectly suited to seaside conditions.

We transformed what had once been a flat sweep of extremely sandy soil into a strolling garden filled with a broad selection of Mediterranean, Australian and California natives. Decomposed granite paths pass by berms filled with soft, silvery plants, such as artemisia, lambs' ears, lavender and Morning Light coast rosemary.

Those grays are complemented by the blue and purple blooms of ceanothus, Mexican sage, sea lavender, fairy fan flower and compact sweet pea shrub. Meanwhile, shrub roses, Pacific Coast iris, species geraniums and even an occasional rogue sunflower inject bursts of colors at just the right moments.