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Some new owners of midcentury modern homes in Palm Springs are replacing more traditional landscapes with ultra-spare minimalist gardens of gravel or lawn, with geometric accents or rows of cactus or grasses. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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The new spare landscapes are quite different from those that surround some of the best-known modernist homes in Palm Springs. The late architect Albert Frey brought the outdoors into the home he designed for himself by nestling the dwelling in the hill above the Palm Springs Art Museum. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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A new version of minimalist landscaping in Palm Springs. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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Architect William Krisel brought the modernist style to the tract houses of the flat lands of Palm Springs in the 1950s. Krisel, also a landscape architect, recently designed this garden with lawn-filled circles and gravel squares for a new house based on his well-known Butterfly roof design. (Don Bartlelli / Los Angeles Times)
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A newly landscaped Palm Springs yard. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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Shaved palms have become a signature element in many of the new spare gardens. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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The skirts of these unshaven Washingtonia filifera palms provide habitat for orioles, owls and other birds and wildlife. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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The Edris House was designed by late architect E. Stewart Williams to appear to grow out of the hillside boulders and creosote. The landscaping has been virtually unchanged since the house was built in the mid-1950s. When the site was originally prepared, Williams told the grade operators to move as few boulders as possible. (Irfan Khan/ Los Angeles Times)
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The city view from the Edris House. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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The brilliance of the flowers are set off by the neutral hues of the stones in the natural terrain. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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Albert Frey designed a house for himself that sits on the land without disturbing it much. The Frey House is built around a large boulder that is seen in the living room and the bedroom. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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The boulder at home in the Frey bedroom. (Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)
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