Experiencing landscapes that have been consciously developed hones our senses and improves our capacity to appreciate good design. Last month I visited a beauty: The Moreland Garden is a hillside property perched high atop the Santa Monica mountains and designed by landscape architect Lisa Gimmy. This private garden was open as part of the Garden Conservancy‘s Open Days Program.

The garden features a low, zig-zagging bush germander hedge, designed to frame the mountains in the distance, while dozens of unusual plant specimens grace the garden with seasonal color and textural interest. My favorite was Euphorbia leucodendron (Cat Tails Euphorbia), an interesting spineless succulent that grows to four to six feet or taller.  At the branch tips were very small yellow-green flower structures holding even smaller flowers and red, heart-shaped fruit.  Drought tolerant, an architectural shape and flowering? This plant is impossible not to love and was so striking against the white walls of the property’s mid-century modern home.

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