The Low-Maintenance Garden

Garden designer Matt James helps a busy California executive transform her backyard eyesore into a personal refuge.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionThe new arrangement of plants are informal yet cohesive as opposed to the uninspiring greens that once filled the beds.
The new backyard is a beautiful outdoor room where Patti can throw open the doors and enjoy this extension of her home, from the indoors out. The once mismatched, uninspired plantings have been replaced with a more cohesive yet informal design of drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plants. The existing citrus tree remains happily in one corner of the yard while nearby plants suitable for the California climate include the slow-growing strawberry tree (Arbutus unedo), Mexican feather grass (Stipa), myrtle (Myrtus communis), Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa), citrus trees and more.