2023 #1 Shifting Moods & Views Garden

Subdivision: Tierra Madre
Owner/ Designer: Joann and Scott Mackenzie
Garden Type or Features:  Beautifully hardscaped property with a large wraparound courtyard and outdoor sculptures. 

Artist in the Garden:  Sabina Turner

Description:  Joann and Scott MacKenzie have lived in this Placitas home for 12 years, experimenting with almost every type of plant, shrub, flower or grass while transforming their landscape to emphasize simplicity, dog friendliness, soothing water sounds, views of the Sandias and occasional splashes of color from flowers and Native American sculptures and metal artwork from their overflowing collection. Over the years, they added a backyard entertainment space with flagstone pathways and concrete steps that lead to a more private sitting area by the back door, which is perfect for morning newspaper and coffee. 

Xeriscape gardens thrive in the searing heat outside their front wall, including roses, apache plume, small junipers and two new Giant Sacatons.  From inside the front wall two mountain mahogany trees welcome visitors to the shady rustic courtyard with a babbling marble fountain, creating an ideal spot for reading with a glass of wine.  Plants include yuccas, prickly pear cactus, agave, Spanish broom, Russian sage, red salvia, catmint, sumac, grasses and more roses.

The upper level beyond focuses on the shaded area designed for entertaining, with an outdoor kitchen, pergola, fire pit, several seating areas, art and a rectangular water feature accessible to their arthritic dog. Additional xeriscape plants and desert willow trees soften the hardscape, as does a bank of junipers that provide shade alongside the flagstone path, with a plumbago and dwarf trumpet vine understory. An additional rock water fountain serves as the backdrop for two beds at the rear of the home. They are planted with Scottish broom, salvias, butterfly bush, a rose and a variety of perennials. 

Sustainability features include amended soil, a drip system, mulch and rain barrels.

The MacKenzies worked with EcoTerra Design for the water feature, Narrow Leaf for the pergola and garden planning, Hilltop in Corrales for flagstone, trees, and fire pit. Yard art includes works by Jake Lovato of Bernalillo, Felix Vigil of Jicarillo and Jemez descent, Dwayne Maktima of Hopi Laguna descent, Daniel North of Placitas, Chris Turri of Corrales and Seth Flanagan of Taos.