It's not quite sunny and 70 here today in Colorado. A fresh 6 inches of the white stuff blankets my neighborhood this morning, but I am stil hopeful about warmer days ahead. Found the photo of a neighbor's home that I took months ago and something about the sun baking on the rock wall and the warm terracotta tiles makes me at least dream about spring.
Part of the old world charm of Tuscan landscaping is the invitation to stop, sit, stay awhile. A bench under a tree makes the outdoor space inviting. Landscaping like the home above includes a native plant garden and that often means a low-water garden. Sunflowers, poppies, ornamental grasses, and lavender are common both here and in Tuscany. Using drought toleranting plantings in place of the lawn adds beauty and saves on water. It's estimated that in some dryer parts of the coutry nearly half of a household's water supply is used for watering the lawn. Before I moved here I had no idea that xeriscaping and drought tolerant plantings could be so beautiful.