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: Striking & sculptural
Thomas J. Story

Case study: Striking & sculptural

Uses rainwater only, San Diego, CA

Southern California’s rare rains provide the only water that Chris and Margaret Sullivan’s front yard gets. Yet its barrel and columnar cactus, Mexican blue fan palms, and Yucca rostrata all thrive. Arranged among boulders in randomly spaced groups like pieces of art, the plants grow in a decomposed granite–cactus mix blend, top-dressed with 3/8-inch Palm Springs Gold gravel. “This garden is 100 times less work than a lawn,” says Chris, who hoses off the barrel cactus in summer only if they’re dusty, and uses long-handled tweezers to extract weeds. “Rabbits eat neighboring gardens, but they’ve shown no interest in ours.”

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