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California Outback

Articles: California Outback

The retail nursery is open by appointment and carries the country’s largest selection of Australian plants. Photo: courtesy of Australian Native Plants Nursery

[sidebar]For information about renting the house visit Australian Native Plants Nursery or call 805-649-3362.[/sidebar]

In 2013, Jo O’Connell jumped at the opportunity to buy the junkyard next door. It was an opportunity to expand her thriving Australian Native Plants Nursery in Casitas Springs, California. The land was full of trash, completely uncultivated, and burdened with a crumbling 1929-era house that everyone insisted should be destroyed. The neighborhood was originally populated with oilfield worker’s cottages, and this house was one of several that were still standing.

Though untouched for more than 40 years, Jo could see that the house had potential. “I didn’t want a cheap new house going up on what I knew would one day be a beautiful property,” she says, “And I wanted to maintain the integrity of the neighborhood.” Finally, Jo found a contractor who shared her vision. “The house had good bones and we were able to renovate the interio...

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