#1 The High Desert Oasis

Subdivision: Placitas West
Owners: Heidi Kugler and Ray Glenn
Garden Type or Features: Original Judith Phillips xeric landscape with recent additions — garden pathways, fountain, an arbor and an abundance of flowering perennials and textural trees.

Artist in the Garden:  Colleen Z. Gregoire

Description: 

Well-known Albuquerque gardener Judith Phillips designed this home’s original xeric landscaping in 1990 with native shrubs and trees. When Heidi and Ray arrived in 2018, they began transforming their property into a colorful High Desert garden with a rich variety of native and drought resistant plants. Among the new trees are River Birch, Deodar Cedar, Atlas Cedar, Austrian Pine, Piñon Pine, Smoke Tree, Chaste Tree and Ornamental Plum.

In the front, Heidi added perennials and evergreens to the native chamisa and juniper bushes that originally defined a semi-circular berm and extended along the side of the house. Visitors can now follow a winding landscaped pathway on their way to the sumptuous backyard gardens. 

The yard is unfolds around a circular patio, with a nearby water feature that provides the relaxing sounds of a babbling brook. A dry creek meanders through the garden below the patio, with an arbor at one end, additional flower beds and walking paths on either side, and a “Sea Grotto” that holds a small hot tub and enclosed garden.

The soil is sandy, rocky, and had to be amended with compost; a new drip system also was installed to support the new plantings. Rabbits are an ongoing challenge, requiring chicken wire enclosures to protect especially tasty leaves and flowers.

Heidi and Ray love the “High Desert Oasis” they have created, complete with the bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, lizards, and occasional snakes it nurtures.