Don Steinman and Ruth Greenspan enjoy spending time outdoors. "We live in a place where the climate is so wonderful much of the year, we wanted to make the backyard an extension of our home," explains Greenspan. They're also a busy working couple, so they wanted a low-maintenance garden.
Picking up on the theme of the couple's 1920s stucco house, which is decorated with Mexican tile wall murals, Trutza created a landscape with the feel of old Mexico. An old patio that was crammed against the house was removed and replaced with a much larger ramada-covered patio at the back of the garden. "It changed the visual focus from the back wall to the back of the house, which is a much more pleasant view," says Greenspan.
Trutza then covered the patio and walkways with used brick to give them the look of adobe. By mixing brick patterns (herringbone and running bond), he was able to direct the eye to different areas of the garden.
Mature cactus saved from the original garden were transplanted into a charming miniature botanical garden that wraps around the east side of the house. The rest of the garden is filled with a mix of desert-adapted plants.
In front of the patio, a spa accented with a waterfall is a pleasant spot to relax and enjoy the garden.