72 & Sunny

L.A. Story is one of my favorite films. In it, Steve Martin commented on the landscape; "If you shut off the sprinklers, everything dies." While he portrayed a weatherman, he felt the job was useless and insisted on prerecording "72 and sunny" forecasts on days he wouldn't be at the station.

People outside of Los Angeles covet our sunny weather, but forget we must suffer the consequences: no greenery. We live in a desert and those who can afford it cover it up with sprinkler systems and state-of-the-art landscapers. I'm lucky enough to have land, but not rich enough for all the bells and whistles. People with Green Guilt insist we "go native," because they are convinced we have a water shortage (um, 2/3 of the earth is water people - it's called a desalinization plant. Say it with me: dee'-sal-in-izz-ay-shun). But it contradicts other Green Guilt Directives, whiiiiiich says we should grow our own vegetables. Whiiiiich takes water. Is all I'm sayin'.

But I digress. I let my backyard "go native" for my greyhounds, and those retired racers still run in circles like they're at the racetrack. In the summer, my backyard is a straw-filled dustbowl. But around our patio are fruit trees, a jade garden and plants like tomatoes and pumpkins. Still, I needed creative inspiration to make the patio a seamless transition from indoors to outdoors, like a forest lounge. Kidnapping an interior designer for Anthropologie is out of the question, (damn DNA forensics!), BUT I did stumble upon The Urban Seed in San Diego.

This place has the rustic chic of Anthropologie, and perfectly balanced the comfort of indoors to the breezy greenery of the outdoors. The transition wasn't stark like a Wal-Mart patio set, but soft-edged and elegant without being stuffy. With minimal upkeep, their place looks fabulous and they have endless advice for making my backyard desert into an oasis. An oasis green enough even to stave off the lost souls who fell for Green Guilt. God help them.

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