Magazine article Sunset

Bold Beauty: From Our New Book, Succulents, Comes a California Garden Devoted to the Low-Water Lookers

Magazine article Sunset

Bold Beauty: From Our New Book, Succulents, Comes a California Garden Devoted to the Low-Water Lookers

Article excerpt

When Leland and Marian Zeidler moved to Aptos, California, they gave landscape architect Steve Sutherland a creative challenge: to dream up a garden that was like an extension of their modern home. His mind immediately went to succulents. "They are the only plants dramatic enough to stand up to that task," says Sutherland. "They command attention."

To complement the home's graphic lines, the designer arranged powdery blue agaves, icy blue senecios, and pinkish echeverias in blocks around the property. "Mass plantings within a very restrained palette make for a more powerful design," says Sutherland. Ornamental grasses, placed in equally wide ribbons, add a little softness.

Sutherland chose their plants for toughness as much as looks. All of them are drought-resistant, can stand up against the salt and wind, and--at the homeowners' request--require little maintenance. Neither Leland nor Marian consider themselves gardeners, but the landscape feeds their love of art. Leland goes out nearly every day to check out the succulents, sometimes bringing their blooms inside as arrangements. After all, he says, "They're as contemporary as it gets. …

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