Tenth Anniversary: Our Favorite Natural Gardens

Learn more about our top picks for natural garden of the decade. Then, vote for yours!

| March 2009 Web

Get more information about the natural garden of the year choices. When you're finished, vote for your favorite!


1.  From Eyesore to Enchantment   

In Laguna Beach, a drainage ditch is transformed into a paradise through a couple’s love as well as their passion for the environment. Although considered a poor location, due to a metal drain that collected water from the surrounding hills, Chris and Heidi Prelitz bought the plot with a goal of an eco-friendly home and a lush garden. Chris, a general contractor with a passion for sustainable building and permaculture, built retaining walls, terraces and beds to prevent erosion on the steeply sloped land. Through observations of natural water flow, Chris designed paths and stepping-stone stairways while creating a wall around the storm drain and a basin for the fruit trees made of broken concrete.  

2.  Garden for Good Life   

With 320-acres of land, most people would attempt to clear and conquer it, but for recent landowners Nancy and John Schaeffer, the challenge was how to live in harmony with all the land's natural beauty. The couple, along with the assistance of their students, set out to build an off-the-grid house and surround it with organic vegetable gardens that enhance the ecosystem rather than compete with it. Sustaining the earth has always been John’s central focus, and this project was no exception. The couple concentrated their green efforts on landscaping and gardening first. 

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