Each year, Sunset Magazine hosts a Dream Garden contest. This year, the Grand Prize was awarded to a multi-faceted landscape makeover for the grounds of a home in Walnut Creek, CA. Other winners were makeovers for other residential landscapes in the West, from Los Angeles to Santa Fe.
The Grand Prize features a yard organized into zones that correspond to the home’s interior rooms. Here you see a redwood boardwalk, fringed with pink-flowered coral bells -- it connects a bedroom deck and breakfast nook with the main bluestone patio and dining area on the garden’s opposite side.
The calming fountain is adjacent to the dining area and is the focal point. The fountain’s copper back and water trough define the smooth stucco wall. Design by Stefan Thuilot with Joseph Huetti.
Here’s a vibrant stairway linking a Los Angeles home’s upper and lower gardens. As with many homes in the West, this multi-level property benefited from creative integration of different levels. The outcome is a lush and flowing outdoor environment that offers delight from bottom to top. Design: Judy Kameon with Michael Kirchmann Jr. and Ivette Soler, Elysian Landscapes.
Now, on to Santa Fe. A colorful landscape might seem like far-fetched goal in Santa Fe's arid hills, where sun, wind, and hungry rabbits challenge even the toughest plants. But thanks to a graceful design, smart plant choices, and an innovative water recycling system, a barren space was converted into an exuberant garden. Design by Monika Hellwegen and Azul Cobb, Carlotta from Paradise.
Coming back to the West Coast, to Pacific Palisades (west of LA), this winner for Small Space Style (image 9 of 11) shows the landscape makeover of a modest-sized yard into a welcoming and livable extension of the home. Featuring a gravel dining patio, fireplace, and a small area of lawn punctuated by large stone walkways, the property’s owners now have a series of sunny living spaces. Design: Rob Steiner.
For more of Sunset’s garden ideas visit their garden section for creative solutions both lush and green in all ways.
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