1. The High Desert Oasis
Subdivision: Placitas Trails
Owners: Heidi Kugler and Kini Glen
Garden Type or Features: Original Judith Phillips xeric landscape with recent owner additions, including garden pathways, an arbor, fountain, and a large circular back patio anchoring an abundance of flowering perennials and textural trees.
Artists 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 Kini 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.
2. Planting for a Post-Wild New Mexico
Subdivision: Anasazi Meadows
Owner/ Designer: Michael Payton
Garden Type or Features: Rewilding, hybrid plant communities, habitat patch, biodiversity, stormwater infrastructure.
Artist in the Garden: Karen Jacobs
Description: A patch of earth can make a significant contribution toward sustaining biodiversity. This landscape explores the idea of blending the wild and the cultivated. Interlocking layers of compatible plant species are intended to mimic the native plant communities that grow on disturbed and degraded sites.
3. The “Infinity” Garden
Subdivision: La Mesa
Owner/ Designer: Barbara and Bill Lumm
Garden Type or Features: Beautifully planted ¾-acre lot with a 360-degree desert escape pathway that surrounds a courtyard planted with succulents and pollinator plants.
Artist in the Garden: Alfons Schuster
Description: Barbara Lumm calls this location her husband Bill’s “Infinity Garden” because his landscape projects never end. The High Desert Forest he created, with strategically transplanted Cholla and favorably nurtured Piñons growing among One-Seed Junipers, was showcased on the 2018 Placitas Garden Tour.
4. The Overlook Garden
Owner/ Designer: Linda and Marc Davidson
Garden Type or Features: Spectacular views, steep ridge stabilization, variety of mature shrubs trees, and desert plants.
Artist in the Garden: John DeSpain
Description: Linda Davidson developed the initial concept for this home high above Placitas, then handed it off to a team that built it in 2003-2004 using foam block construction. The home’s dramatic location provides great surrounding views but also came with landscaping challenges — extreme slopes on both sides of the property and poor soil consisting mostly of rocks, gravel, and sand.
5. The Forest Sanctuary
Subdivision: Villas de Huertas
Owner/ Designer: Cheryl and Dick Weber
Garden Type or Feature: Unique contemporary architecture landscaped with Northern New Mexico plants and trees with 360 views.
Artist in the Garden: Pea S. Garr
Description: The Webers moved from Colorado to their uniquely designed Northern New Mexico style home in 2018. They were searching for a contemporary home in the Albuquerque area, and this home was perfect.
The previous owner, an artist and gardener, designed and planted the property using selected Northern New Mexico trees and shrubs grown from root stock before moving to Bend, Ore. Cheryl and Dick, both accomplished artists, have had four years to learn best practices for maintaining the yard while establishing themselves in the Placitas art, volunteer, and social scene.
6. The Garden of Knowledge
Subdivision: San Francisco Hills
Owner/ Designer: Savannah Boone
Garden Type or Features: Historic rural Placitas location with a charming rustic Caribbean ambience, orchard and vegetable growing, pollinator/bee keeping, naturalized plant and tree specimen transplants throughout property, hoop house and air pruning gardening beds.
Artist in the Garden: Corky Baron
Description: Savannah’s garden was a popular destination for gardeners of all interests at the May 2017 tour. She has since retired from Southwest Airlines and has upgraded the landscaping, constructed a protected beehive enclosure, and is still employing alternative gardening methods such as the air pruning raised vegetable beds. Most of the new plants are naturalized or transplanted from shoots from existing trees and shrubs (Lilacs, Russian Olive, New Mexico Privet, Mimosa), or started from seed in her hoop house raised beds using a combination of soil and straw.
7. The Raven Hollow Garden
Subdivision: San Francisco Hills
Owner/ Designer: Carolyn Stice
Garden Type or Features: Permaculture demonstration garden: historic farm environment, food growing, children’s gardening, chickens, food preservation, fruit orchard.
Artist in the Garden: Bunny and Leland Bowen
Description: Caroline, a full-time teacher and mother, is a motivated gardener who aims to implement the latest in gardening practices while maintaining ties to the past best practices for preserving water and the integrity of the soil – i.e., permaculture. Carolyn practices the concepts of no-till soil and organic gardening, utilizes in-ground trashcan root cellar storage bins for potatoes and carrots, and has a happy family of colorful chickens that lay eggs for family food, with enough left over to sell. The teen children garden with their mother and have enjoyed the pleasures of a farm upbringing.