This Aptos home is on a large lot and the owners wished to have a lush landscape and plenty of room for outdoor entertaining while minimizing water use. The interior of the home was completely remodeled and we wanted a sleek, contemporary landscape design to match. To this end, we used repeating swaths of very drought-tolerant, textural plants in rectilinear patterns along with large expanses of permeable gravel. The alternative lawn is Kurapia, a low-water creeping groundcover that only needs water once a week. We created more privacy in the back garden with Myrica californica, a rapidly growing California native. A series of retaining walls in both the front and the back serve to level out the sloping lot and offer interesting opportunities for vertical dimension in the form of built-in planter beds and seating walls.