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: Wild & romantic
Thomas J. Story

Case study: Wild & romantic

Cut water bill by 40%, Los Altos, CA

For years, Pam and Mark Goodman cringed at the sight of their struggling lawn from the living room windows. Dreaming of a thriving garden, Pam started clipping photos of plants. By the time the couple met with garden designer Rebecca Sweet, Pam “must have had a thousand photos,” says Sweet.

Thumbing through the pictures, Sweet could see the couple loved a lush, colorful look. So she suggested planting unthirsty perennials with bright flowers and long bloom times, as well as replacing the lawn with low-water silver-blue Dymondia margaretae, which can handle foot traffic.

Since then, the garden has come alive with the bees, birds, and butterflies that the flowers attract. Now it’s hard to walk through the living room without lingering by a window, says Pam. “It’s like a forever-changing painting.”

Design: Rebecca Sweet, Los Altos, CA; harmonyinthegarden.com

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