I am a landscape designer, garden writer, teacher and activist with 30 years experience designing arid-adapted and native gardens in the high desert of New Mexico.
Plants are absolutely the heart and soul of my designs, but extraordinary gardens are much more than collections of plants…
Sere and sparse desert can be breathtaking at a distance but it’s not a place to linger on a summer afternoon. Gardens are places to enjoy at our leisure and oases are the jewels of the desert, special places shaded from intense sunlight and protected from drying winds where a little water can make a profound difference
Native plants have always been the heart and soul of my designs but extraordinary gardens are much more than collections of plants. Plants reduce urban heating, increase carbon sequestration and support wildlife. Climate change has increased the value of well-adapted plants in landscapes.
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 a refreshing canopy of small trees; where meandering paths coax you to follow around the next bend…
Natural springs are disappearing but our rooftops, driveways, patios, and paths shed thousands of gallons of storm water every year—a largely untapped source of water for our gardens that combined with careful plant selection is the gift of a green and resilient landscape.
The desert that drives my designs is the desert after rain, moments in the life of the parched landscapes when just enough rain comes to shift austerity to abundance. The walls, arbors and tree and shrub canopies that enclose spaces, the walkways that connect them and the patios where people gather create oases cooled, colored, and perfumed by plants.