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JASON HENRY FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

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For nearly $100,000, Matthew and Nina Christensen got exactly the landscaping they wanted. The 2,029-square-foot area around their home in Newport Beach, Calif., has several shades of green, gentle slopes and altering lengths of bluntly cut grass that make it look freshly mowed no matter the season. Three lush living walls cover an exterior concrete wall. What’s more, it is basically maintenance-free. “Our neighbors on both sides are in contact with our landscaper,” says Mr. Christensen, 39 years old, a commercial real-estate developer. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. The greenery is almost all artificial. The...

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