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

Water-wise garden design guide

Everything you need to give the hose a rest, from unthirsty plant picks to inspiring gardens

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Case study: Tailored & textured
Thomas J. Story

Case study: Tailored & textured

Watered only once a week, San Marino, CA

Plants may be a new medium for interior designer Diane Lam, but she has years of experience with combining textures and colors. So when she and her husband, David Omori, decided to replace the grass and ivy in their front yard, her love of texture and color guided the design.

Working with landscape designer Darren Shirai and landscape architect Jeremy Taylor, Lam organized unthirsty groundcovers into bands that cross the yard like giant stripes on a rug. All told, the bands feature six kinds of succulents, three kinds of shrubs, and one kind of grass. “It’s a kaleidoscope of changing colors,” Lam says.

The plants get watered weekly using a drip-irrigation system and need little trimming. And Lam actually relishes the maintenance that comes with easy-to-propagate succulents. When one of the plants grows too big for a space, she pulls it out and restarts snippets elsewhere in the garden—or pots it up to give as a gift.

Design: Bosque Design, Pasadena; bosque-la.com

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