Design inspiration for the lackluster lot came not from a high-priced consultant but from garden tours and clippings from magazines. Through these, Brigitte came to realize that high-style gardens with a limited array of plants and materials don't appeal to her nearly as much as gardens with more going on. "I love romantic gardens that have a lot of stuff," she says, meaning yards with distinct garden rooms furnished with architectural accents and a wide range of plants. "I figure, you have a yard. A lot of people don't. Use every bit of it." So she set out to create the rich jumble of an English country garden, mixing cottage-style informality with formal statuary and trelliswork.
Shown: The south-facing vegetable garden is terraced into the hillside with a Hass avocado tree towering over it and Italian cypresses standing like sentinels at the back.