Guide to low-maintenance gardening

From low-water plants to simple projects, our guide to easy gardening will make a green thumb out of anyone

9 beautiful easy-care plants

Up the serenity in your own garden room with these easy-care, low-water plants

Magical outdoor room
Photo by Michele Lee Willson; written by Kathleen N. Brenzel

Magical outdoor room

“Everything about this garden is magical,” says designer Vera Gates of Liz and Chris Dressel’s hillside hideaway in Woodside, California. “The light is magical. So are the plantings around the native oak.” Thoughts of yard work won’t break the spell here: These plants are all low-water and easy-care. A decomposed-granite patio means no lawn to mow. And the chairs around the portable firepit? Bewitching. “Guests just want to recline in them and enjoy the view. No one ever wants to leave.” Design: Vera Gates and Scott Yarnell, Arterra Landscape Architects, San Francisco (

Click ahead to get info on the 9 beautiful plants on display, and then plant your own magical outdoor sanctuary.


Insider Guides

Places We Love!
Enchantment Resort
For a most soothing Sedona experience, tuck yourself...