Landscape & Outdoor Building

Treating the Western home(stead) as an organic unity, Sunset has given much attention to issues of landscaping around the home (and, to a lesser extent, elsewhere) and integration of living spaces between the indoors and outdoors, a characteristic feature of Western living (at least in the more temperate parts). This theme integrates with parallel developments in outdoor cookery and outdoor living long emphasized by the magazine, so we find, variously, outdoor barbecues and fireplaces, garden buildings, lanais, patios, decks and other open spaces connected in some manner to the home, but redefining the boundary of where the house ends and the outdoors begins, and thus reinventing living space.

Japanese sideyard
Patio with walkways

Left: “Narrow side-yard in Tokyo -- planted 5 years ago with timber bamboo… Monotony of long path is broken by using old stones in various sizes and shapes, by water channel suggesting river across path.” March 1958, p. 83.

Right: “Long wood walkway leads visitors from the house to a flagstone patio in the center of the 20- by 30-foot garden. Birches underplanted with perennials surround the patio.” Making the most of a restricted space. March 1997, p. 80. (photo: Norman A. Plate)

Sunset's Garden Guide
Los Angeles State and County Arboretum

Left: “Daffodils illuminate Sunset’s garden in late March and on into April. ” October 1968, p. 230.

Right: “Ideas for planting, screens, walls, paving, begin even as you enter these gardens at Los Angeles State and County Arboretum.” Note Sunset’s participation in both experimental horticulture and public education. June 1958, p. 71. (photo: William Aplin)

Backyard with pool
Teahouse garden

Left: “A low stucco wall defines one edge of a small dipping pool and forms the front side of a raised planter. An arbor and shrubs help screen the garage from view.” We can imagine this treatment in most Western cities. March 1997, p. 66. (photo: Jay Graham)

Right: “Inviting focal point of garden, teahouse is a natural place to entertain ... “ February 1958, p. 64. (photo: Clyde Childress)

Japanese stone path
Sunset Magazine cover. July 1997
Landscape with fences

Left: “Leisurely walking on this path­ and being led by it­s esthetic pleasure, although the Japanese are always mindful that path’s function is practical as well as ornamental.” February 1958, p. 88.

Center: 1997 July cover

Right: “Fences play an important part in this Belvedere, California, entry garden.” An uncharacteristically stark and formalistic piece of landscaping. May 1958, p. 76.(photo: Ernest Braun)