Sonoma garden is a country retreat

How to use playful plantings, rustic materials, and color to inspire your landscape

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  • "Sisyrinchium californicum" and sedum in a raised planter above a succulent-filled bed.

    Sonoma garden is a country retreat

    Saxon Holt

    Click to Enlarge

Five great ideas from this garden

1. Bring in materials that celebrate the region. To evoke Sonoma Valley's agricultural roots, Wogisch used galvanized steel livestock feeding tanks, which give the garden a rural feel. He added holes for drainage, then filled the tanks with plants.

2. Play with color. In each garden room, richly hued plants like phormium, grasses, conifers, and echeveria accent the plots. "I like to use a lot of foliage colors ― flowers are a bonus," Wogisch says.

3. Paint walls. Because the garden walls serve as backdrops for plants, Wogisch painted them in bold shades such as dark persimmon and rusty red. "I wanted a canvas of fun, earthy colors," he says.

4. Set containers into beds and borders. Settle them in among surrounding foliage for best effect. They add height, dimension, and color.

5. Break up hardscape. Use planting pockets to soften expanses of paving and to highlight especially showy plants.

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