Smart gardeners reuse and rethink everything—repurposed wood to make benches, broken concrete to build walls or steps, boulders found on-site. Smart plants are those that can (almost) fend for themselves.
Sustainability is fun in this Santa Barbara backyard, which has a hot tub and rock-lined fi repit behind the grassy meadow but uses 95 percent locally sourced or salvaged materials. The once-fl at property was contoured to create rooms and to direct storm water into low spots. Mexican feather grass, feather reed grass, and sedges mingle among the sandstone boulders. Permeable decomposed granite covers the paths. Design: Margie Grace (garden); Michelle Kaufmann (Custom Prefab house).