A new book shows how beauty and sustainability in landscape design go hand in hand. Closer to Nature: The Alluring Landscapes of Simmonds & Associates showcases the sustainable landscape design strategies of this Northern California-based landscape architecture firm. Released this week by Whitespace Press, the illustrated book by Lee Anne White explores the ways in which the firm has created beautiful, inviting and contemporary environments while embracing creative strategies for conserving water and other natural resources.

The founder of Simmonds & Associates, Inc., landscape architect Warren Simmonds, explains, “We have created innovative outdoor environments that are ecologically sound and deeply rooted in nature since opening our doors more than 20 years ago. We have always embraced the use of native plants and were among the first firms to introduce low-maintenance, drought-tolerant ornamental grasses to the San Francisco Bay Area—long before these plants were widely recognized as appropriate for the region’s unique climate.”

The firm has also adopted creative strategies for conserving water and energy, recycling landscape materials, and reducing the time, cost and chemicals required to maintain a landscape. The designs celebrate the beauty of site-appropriate plantings that require minimal water and care. “But what makes these projects really stand out,” says White, “is their beauty. These are alluring outdoor spaces that feel natural, but not wild. They are clean, crisp and contemporary, with a nice balance between built and planted spaces that invite you to sit, relax and renew.”

Closer to Nature: The Alluring Landscapes of Simmonds & Associates features 11 projects, which range from residential landscapes to urban cityscape to equestrian ranch. With more than 100 color photographs and numerous site plans, the book is packed with design inspiration, sustainability strategies and innovative ideas for landscape design and outdoor living.


Closer to Nature: The Alluring Landscapes of Simmonds & Associates, by Lee Anne White. Whitespace Press, 2015. 80 pages, 113 color photographs, 8 site plans. ISBN: 978-0-9887928-5-2. E-book (downloadable PDF) $12.95. www.whitespacepress.com/closer-to-nature/

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Closer to Nature