GARDEN #1 “The Vine Garden”
This garden showcases beautifully draped portal vines, both grape and Virginia creeper, established turf areas and a variety of planting beds along with an extraordinary south view of the Sandia Mountains from the back yard. The owners have lived in this adobe residence for 30 years and have done all landscaping, terracing, and planting using their own design and labor. The owners have retained plenty of shelter and nesting areas for wildlife among their native junipers and pinon trees. This is a Certified Wildlife habitat garden.
GARDEN #2 “The Oasis Garden”
Towering cottonwood trees and a second story latilla balcony frame this property from the street view. As you enter the front courtyard gate you will feel an overwhelming sense of tranquility from the green grass and cool shade. This oasis garden boasts established turf, mature trees and a large fish pond on the south side of the property. Walk in a counter-clockwise pattern and enjoy the many perennial and native planted sections. The owners have worked hard during the last 23 years to establish meandering paths, private seating nooks, and nature viewing areas within their “inherited” garden landscape.
GARDEN #3 “The Twin Peaks Garden”
This hillside property has benefited from pleasing additions in “hardscaping” – garden flagstone pathways and a pool/ deck addition with ramada covered areas – during the past five years thanks to the inspiration and design skills of the current owners. These additions have provided for greater access to different areas of this garden property – all the better for enjoying the multitude of conifers, native plants, flowering beds, birds and other wildlife. Walk around the garden to enjoy views of the Sandia Mountain, the far west mesas and the “twin-peaked” open space hills.
GARDEN #4 “The Topiary Garden”
You will be amazed at the view of this open landscape and home against the panoramic back drop of the Sandia Mountains. The combination of the Mediterranean style home and the wind-swept shapes of the topiary pruned native juniper trees is reminiscent of scenes along the California Big Sur coast. As you walk closer your eyes are drawn to a center landscaped area with artfully arranged ceramic pots among the yuccas and a three tiered fountain lies just behind. This garden, planned and designed by the homeowners, is dramatically simple and yet easy to maintain.
GARDEN #5 “The Art Garden”
The owners of this property love art – the art of gardening and the art of painting. Twelve years ago the owners decided to add a small number of plants to their garden every year with the intent of achieving year-round color, varying proportions and textural interest. The owners grew up gardening in New Mexico, and know how to take advantage of micro-climates for successfully growing a variety of ornamental plants, fruit trees, vines, and vegetable bearing plants. They have created garden rooms with courtyard walls, flagstone walk ways, covered patios and arbors while preserving precious mountain views.
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. Native plant specialists will be available during the tour to guide guests.
Browse and shop the 2016 Placitas Garden Tour Plein Air Gallery that will be located at the Placitas Community Library!
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.