old wheelbarrow used as container for flowers, garden decorating for old world style
Photo: Jennifer Cheung

Effortless Garden Character

It's one of those enviably breezy, billowy dreamscapes straight out of a coffee-table book on Tuscany or Provence. But Matlin Mirman cultivates her romantic plantings on about a third of her one-acre property in the hills above Los Angeles, home to sunny days, temperate zones, and 12 months of bloom. Fragrant flowering vines scramble up porch posts and trees, and from somewhere in the distance comes the musical sound of a tinkling fountain. Coffee is served on a weathered stone patio that faces east; cocktails, on another one, oriented due west. The whole place exudes effortless, lived-in character.

Shown: Flowers drape and spill over the sides of weathered wood containers on a sheltered flagstone patio that now fronts a 1950s house in Southern California.
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