garden planning romantic gardens bistro set surrounded by flowers and rose-covered arbors
Photo: Mark Lohman
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Garden Beauty on a Budget

When Brigitte and Charles Christensen moved to their Southern California home 17 years ago, it was tough to even make a dent in the rock-hard adobe soil. 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.

See how this resourceful couple turned their lot into a series of exuberantly romantic gardens.
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