garden planning romantic gardens bistro set surrounded by flowers and rose-covered arbors
Photo: Mark Lohman

A Beautiful Garden Dug Into Submission

Planting a daylily seemed a simple enough task when Brigitte and Charles Christensen moved to their Southern California home. But her shovel barely made a dent in the rock-hard adobe soil. Eventually she pounded through with a posthole digger.

Fast-forward 17 years. Today the soil is soft and fluffy, and the Christensens' quarter acre is lush with 75 kinds of roses and nearly as many types of perennials, plus trellises, fountains, a terraced vegetable garden, an estate-worthy rabbit hutch, a rock-lined fishpond, a winding brick path, and several outdoor dining areas. And it was all done on a shoestring, thanks to help from family and friends, contributions from other gardeners, and a few clever work-arounds to save money.

Shown: For a flower lover, what better place to sit could there be than at this bistro set, enjoying the view through a series of rose-covered arbors?
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