Geyserville, CA. This garden above Northern California's Russian River Valley flows seamlessly into its surroundings. As one juror pointed out, "There's no conflict between garden and nature."
It wasn't always this way. Before the renovation, a fence enclosed the garden, cutting off views, and a thirsty lawn grew too close to the native oaks. Landscape designers Diana Stratton and Brian Columbia removed the fence to open up views, then created terraces supported by retaining walls of local fieldstone. In place of lawn, Stratton planted native creeping red fescue grass; drifts of 'Thalia' daffodil bloom beneath the oaks. Both need very little water.
DESIGN: Diana Stratton Design, Healdsburg, CA ( www.dianastrattondesign.com or 707/433-2582)