Front lawns demand regular watering, mowing
, and weed control
. The Ocampos' sloping front-yard garden adds privacy, beauty, and plenty of play space for their young daughter with a virtually maintenance-free garden. A stepped-up slate-tile path winds through the center, flanked by dramatic palms, colorful succulents
, and other low-water plants. An airy metal fence establishes the private part of the yard. Gates close off the driveway (which cuts in front of the house to the garage) and a parking pad. Concrete paving
tinted a deep purple gives the whole yard a rosy hue. Safely behind the gates, daughter Alexis and her friends ride bikes and play hopscotch on the driveway or do artwork on the small front deck.