GARDEN #1 “The Cottonwood Habitat”
This garden showcases a cozy front courtyard with the feel of a cottage garden. The larger walled rear garden features a mature landscape with a combination of turf, perennial flower beds and mature cottonwoods. This is a Certified Wildlife Habitat garden with a hawk’s nest high in one of the cottonwood trees and hummingbird nests below. Enjoy the shade of the tranquil back portal and ramada and surrounding plants while taking in a spectacular south view of the Sandias.
GARDEN #2 “The Retro Garden”
The home was built nearly fifty years ago and featured in the Albuquerque Journal in 1968 due to its unique in-the-round construction. The 360-degree landscaping, consisting of a wide variety of trees, shrubs, vines and perennials plants, was added gradually through the decades by the owner on this open property void of courtyard walls.
GARDEN #3 “The European Garden”
From the street and the entry views this garden appears to be an expansive well- designed xeric garden with defined rock bordered areas surrounding juniper, grasses and other native plants. The back area of the garden is planted lushly on multiple levels with abundant rose shrubs and flowering bulb plants along with trees and other shrubs in the European tradition along with touches of colorful pots, whimsically painted benches and garden signs.
GARDEN #4 “The Atrium Garden”
The tour starts with a walk through a nicely landscaped front courtyard to a spectacular indoor atrium garden. There is a indoor fountain and number of tropical plants to enjoy in the atrium and their names are labeled. After exploring the atrium garden you will walk through a breeze way enclosure to the pool area bordered by a large rock fountain structure. From the pool you may follow more than one path to different outdoor garden rooms. A large spiral cascading water fall leads to a tranquil water lily pond on the northeast side of the property.
GARDEN #5 “The Plein Air Gallery Garden”
This public garden was developed by Placitas Community Library (PCL) volunteers with financial aid from grants. The garden is maintained by PCL volunteers in cooperation from Sandoval County Master Gardeners. The front entrance plot consists of xeric plants donated by David Salmon, owner of the former High County Gardens, for the grand opening of of the PCL building in 2008. Special features of the PCL garden are an advanced rain water harvesting system, a solar operated wildlife water guzzler, and an inspiring labyrinth rock garden designed and built by volunteers.
Browse and shop the 2017 Placitas Garden Tour Plein Air Gallery that will be located at the Placitas Community Library! Daylily Society volunteers will be selling a variety of daylily starts on the library grounds, and providing advice on planting and maintenance of the early summer flowering plant.
GARDEN #6 “The Cacti & Iris Garden”
Cacti and irises have been planted in abundance in garden beds in the northwest facing courtyard along with naturalized desert willows, red yucca, and New Mexico bird of paradise. Iris flowering should be prime for the late May garden tour. Enjoy the fabulous views of the far west mesas and the Jemez mountains from this courtyard. The southwest entry garden areas feature stone path gardens planted with a variety of cacti and native grasses. The south facing front courtyard entrance in contrast is shaded with a large beautiful Chinese pistache tree, pinon pines, New Mexico privot tree shrubs, and a crab apple tree.
GARDEN #7 “The Wild Cherry Farm”
The Anasazi Fields Winery (AFW) sits on the western edge of the Village of Placitas. Per their “Wines in a Landscape” website description, the AFW wines “come forth from a unique landscape: a landscape of spring-fed orchards, a landscape of artists and poets, a landscape of weather and topography, a landscape of science and magic.” This prose sums up the Vintner’s growing philosophy, science background, and his poetic and sculptural talents, and it also describes the AFW “Wild Cherry Farm” orchard located about a mile southeast of the Winery and just north of the Village
GARDEN #8 “The Hoop House Garden”
This garden features all types of plants from tropical specimens such as orchids and other flowering beauties to vegetable growing plants and fruit trees suited to our New Mexico climate. The hoop house raised vegetable garden bed construction and irrigation system were influenced by the hydroponic gardening techniques of German horticulturalist Mittleider. Some of the garden beds house straw bales as a media for growing vegetable plants.
General Information on Placitas Landscapes, Soil Compositions and Gardening
The Placitas community is an unincorporated group of neighborhoods that is bordered on the west by I-25 and on the east and south sides by the Sandia Mountains and the Sandia Pueblo lands, and on the North by San Felipo pueblo lands. Placitas residents share the love of the stunning vistas of various mountains, the west mesas and the Rio Grande valley along with relative seclusion from the bustle of the greater Albuquerque metro area. The Village of Placitas is located off of Hwy 165 approximately 6 miles east of I-25 at exit 242. The historic Village of Placitas is located in the historic Las Huertas land grant area. Placitas has had a long history of agriculture and trade dating back prior to the land grant days. Pueblo Indians, Plains Indians and the Spaniards traded and farmed on lands surrounding the Las Huertas Creek that drains into the Rio Grande. Various communal hippies in the 1960s farmed these same lands. In the last 30 -50 years Placitas residential neighborhoods have spread north, east and west of the Village. These neighborhoods are both residential and rural in character. Placitas home owners garden and landscape in a variety of soils and micro-climates. The Village area has an abundance of clay in the soils in which to garden; whereas the residents residing in neighborhoods west and south of the Village have to contend with rocky or sandy soils or combinations of clay, sand and rock. The residents east of the village up to the Sandia mountain road struggle to garden and landscape with granite like soils. These varying soil compositions combined with the high desert and mountain foot hill micro-climates with minimal precipitation present challenging landscaping and gardening issues for the average Placitas resident. These challenges are not unlike those faced by other central New Mexico landscapers and gardeners.
The Placitas Garden Tour promises to be a horticultural educational experience for tour guests along with being a delight to a viewers’ eyes. All gardeners and would be gardeners learn from each other and appreciate the true labor of love that gardening is.