Sustainable and Serene: California Gardens by Steve Siegrist

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If you love a neat, tailored look for your garden, but hate all the extra hassle and possible waste involved in upkeep, California landscaper Steve Siegrist has just the answer: sustainable gardens. As he explains, “There’s a neurosis that comes with roses and lawns. They stress you out.” To eliminate that stress, Siegrist specializes in drought-tolerant designs that include succulents, to conserve both water and space, not to mention cash, without sacrificing beauty or elegance. With lavish use of native stone, wood, and easy-care plants, Siegrist creates visually appealing spaces that preserve a balance of design and nature. “I like the garden to have a lot of structure,” he explains, “but then I love those moments at the end when the garden pushes back.”

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For structure, look at the softening of a steep slope — with concrete steps, a gentle incline, and soil-hugging plants. A small yard is brightened with built-in seating, fire pits, and colorful pillows and fabrics. Note the exuberant floral “trim” to a dark wood gate, the stone planter overflowing with succulents at the base of a venerable palm, and the intimate courtyard trimmed with ferns, colorful grasses, and sculpted boxwood; who wouldn’t want to sit there under the evening stars? Each garden is a work of art: Siegrist devotes himself to only one job at a time, designing spaces to work with nature. As he explains, “The more comfortable your garden is in the local environment, the more comfortable you’ll be in your garden.” Comfort, conservation, and color are all in these sustainable garden spots from Steve Siegrist.

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Written by Janet Butler

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Janet W. Butler is a freelance writer, editor, and editorial consultant by day and a “small soprano” by night. An RWA Golden Heart Winner, she is the author of the inspirational romance From the Ashes (“the best little book no one’s ever heard of”), published by SANDS Publishing in 2001; and a romantic suspense, Voice of Innocence, from Desert Breeze Publishing. She is a Chicago native transplanted to northeast Indiana, where she lives with her husband, daughter, and Cassandra “Trouble” Butler, S.R.C. (Spoiled Rotten Cat).