A Historic Home’s
Lawn-Free Courtyard

Los Altos, California

Formerly the main home, this historic Los Altos guest house (located in the front of the property), was dominated by a lackluster lawn.  We traded in the lawn for a Mediterranean-inspired pebble courtyard, surrounded by full and undulating garden beds. 

Planted in the beds are a mix of succulents, low-water Australian plants (grevilleas, westringias, and leucadendrons) along with more traditional plants such as Japanese maples, roses, and wisteria.  The combination is nothing short of magical, providing a year-round explosion of color.

Passing through the gate leads to the homeowner’s primary residence and private garden.  Reducing the size of the lawn was a priority; however, we left a small portion for the family dog, who loves rolling around on it.  Surrounding both sides of the small patch of lawn are robust planting beds which allow the homeowners to indulge in their passion for collecting unusual plants.

Meandering pathways wind throughout the new garden beds, under the twinkling lights strung above – just in time for their daughter’s wedding!

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Merced Garden Club

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When to Break the Rules
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