Design Oasis

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Publications Print

Books I've written include:

Click Links below to order these books from Amazon

Growing the Southwest Garden, Timber Press, Portland OR 2015

New Mexico Gardener's Guide, Revised Edition. Cool Springs Press, Franklin, TN (First edition 1998) 2005.

Southwestern Landscaping with Native Plants, Revised Edition. Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, NM (First edition 1987) 2002.

Natural by Design and Plants for Natural Gardens. Museum of New Mexico Press, Santa Fe, NM, 1995.

Why Design Oasis? Print
I'm an advocate of landscaping with native and xeric plants because of their beauty, their harmony with place and purpose.

So why not call my studio Desert Design?

Harsh, sere, and sparse desert can be breathtaking at a distance, but it is not a place to linger on a summer afternoon.

Gardens are places to enjoy at our leisure.

Oases are the jewels of the desert-- special places shaded from the harsh sunlight and protected from wind-- where a little water can make a profound difference in the lives of those fortunate enough to live there.

My inspiration comes in part from natural areas that are compelling: where boulders condense dew and shelter plants; where the periodic flooding of arroyos supports the refreshing shade of small trees; where meandering paths coax you to follow them.


The desert that inspires my designs is the desert after rain, those moments in the lifecycle of the parched landscape when just enough rain comes to change an austere scene to one of amazing abundance.While natural springs and artesian wells are disappearing, our rooftops, driveways, patios and paths shed thousands of gallons of water during rainstorms every year. This is a largely untapped source of water for our gardens.

Harvested water supplementing careful plant selection is a means to a green and truly sustainable landscape.

What drives my design Print

sw courtyard 6

An eco-inspired garden isn't wild-looking unless you want it to be. It may be:

  • decidedly restrained
  • simple and serene
  • exuberantly dramatic

It may transition from one mood to another as you move through a series of garden rooms:

  • a welcoming front courtyard
  • a lush dining patio surrounded with aromatic herbs
  • a serene bedroom patio with hot tub or outdoor shower
  • an energizing work space

Design is an opportunity to strengthen the relationship between people and nature, to create beautiful, sustainable living spaces from the ground up.

The better matched the plants are to the growing conditions, the more sustainable the garden will be and the easier it will be to maintain.

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