Defying Deer & Drought

Los Altos Hills, California

Perched high on a hilltop and surrounded by the Santa Cruz mountains, this lush and vibrant garden has no fencing whatsoever. Open to deer, rabbits, and the occasional mountain lion, this 1-acre garden in Los Altos Hills is designed to embrace wildlife, rather than exclude it.

An additional challenge is the lack of shade, with frequent triple-digit temperatures in the summer months. The plants chosen are a hardy and colorful blend of both Mediterranean and California natives, all of which rely on little supplemental water.

This garden is featured in Fine Gardening, April 2010 as well as the award-winning book: Lawn Gone! Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard (Pam Penick, 2013)