2017 Garden #1

Garden # 1 – The Cottonwood Habitat – Erica Wendel-Oglesby and Jon Ghahate

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Erica and Jon appreciate both the natural habitat of their outdoor surroundings and the art of gardening for food. They lovingly maintained their mature landscape and built raised gardening beds and installed irrigation improvements to help grow a variety of vegetable and ornamentals plants.   The owners also planted fruit trees to supplement their garden.


The combination of turf and mature cottonwoods creates a cooling oasis in their back courtyard.   The large cottonwood trees serve to frame a spectacular Sandia mountain view from their back patio.   The patio is bordered by an upright wisteria tree and arbor.

This garden property is certified as a wildlife habitat. Hawks nest high in the cottonwood trees, and hummers build nests at a lower level to enjoy the symbiotic protection of the hawks.

The front courtyard is cozy, and charmingly planted.   As you enter the front gate, you get the feel of a cottage garden.   The curved walkway to the front entrance of the home is surrounded by an abundance of spring flowering perennial plants, wisteria vines, and New Mexico privet shrubs.

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When the owners purchased this home, the backyard was a blank canvas with just turf, a flagstone walkway, and mature cottonwood trees.  From there they fashioned lovely hand-cut stone planters and positioned them in place throughout.  Soil and drip irrigation were added to each planter, in which an assortment of grasses and colorful flowers was planted.  A one-foot edging of stone was installed around the back wall to allow for ease in mowing.