Design Lifestyle


The latest wave of drought-tolerant gardens go low on water and high on style 

By Alexandria Abramian

More and more designers are taking the garden beyond the water-guzzling lawn to create more sustainable outdoor spaces. The result? A new kind of garden groove that invites gatherings without draining precious resources.

Meet the New Splash Zone

For this Newport Heights home, designer Raili Clasen of RailiCA skipped the sod and used artificial turf for a soft landing surrounding the pool. A shaded pool house is home to a large-screen television and expansive wine cellar. |

A Garden for All-Day, Year-Round Outdoor Living

Multiple firepits, a gravel chaise landing area, a limestone fountain, a built-in BBQ, a bocce ball court, a swing in the gigantic decades-old fig tree, an outdoor shower—all areincluded in this San Clemente garden. “The house is a tiny beach cottage, so it was important to the clients to create as much usable space outdoors as possible. Now they can live with the doors open.” —Molly Wood |

A Split Screen for All Outdoor Occasions

Designer Ashley Clark of sKout Interior Design collaborated with Garden Studio to create a split-level, multi-functional outdoor oasis. Cocktails, dining, swimming, and gathering are all invited to the outdoor party, which ditches water-guzzling grass and blooms in favor of succulents, natives, and more. |

A Front Patio Takes Center Stage

Eilla Pradier decided to activate the sidewalk-facing section of her Balboa home to create an outdoor oasis for year-round use: cooking, entertaining, relaxing. Instead of building a privacy barrier with unquenchable hedges, however, the interior designer used boxwood shrub on a drip irrigation system. “This gives us the greenery of a garden without excessive water usage. It’s also a great way to have some privacy while not blocking us entirely from neighbors and friends who pass by,” she says. |

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