Viva Mexico

South-of-the-border style inspires a California garden

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The backyard pool area, designed by Cynthia Hayes, is the hub for family activities and entertaining. Its look is a bit calmer, in honor of Simmons's Northwest Native American heritage, but Rudolph is slowly making her mark here as well. A chunky ramada decorated with colorful flags and glowing lights serves as an outdoor dining room. Not far away, an outdoor kitchen with a kiva (Southwest-style fireplace) wraps around a flagstone patio.

The garden is not only the family's personal space but also a reflection of the Mexican and Native American roots of the surrounding Santa Clara Valley. "It's important to respect the spirit of the cultures that were here before us," Rudolph says.

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