Our small backyard is a tranquil, shady oasis even on the hottest summer days in Los Angeles. But it wasn't always this way. When we bought our house 8 years ago, the entire backyard was paved with concrete and ringed by a cinderblock wall. The yard was a
Plants edging the deck. The deck is made of sustainable ipe wood that has weathered to a soft gray. Drought-tolerant plants need only yearly trimming and occasional watering—which leaves plenty of time to kick back on a lounge chair and bask in the sun.