Garden #3 – The European Garden – David Hoekenga and Sarah Romero
The European Garden is a hidden treasure on this corner property in Placitas. From the street and the driveway this garden appears to be an expansive well designed xeric garden with defined rock bordered areas surrounding juniper, grasses and other native plants. The owners purchased this property in 2008 and completely renovated the home, built a swimming pool in the back courtyard, and developed the surrounding landscape.
As you venture to the back of the house from the east side you will see a green house, which preserves the owners’ semi-tropical collection. David is of Dutch ancestry and his hobby is growing beautiful flowering plants as he enjoyed growing up in Europe. After viewing the inside of the green house and its plant treasures, a guide will direct you to enter the pool area in the back courtyard. The landscaping in the back courtyard is the opposite in concept from the front landscaping. The back patio area is planted lushly on multiple levels with abundant rose shrubs and flowering bulb plants along with trees and other shrubs in the European tradition and is highlighted with touches of colorful pots, whimsically painted benches and a large directional sign sculpture. The back courtyard garden is an unexpected and visual garden treat. The European garden is David and Sarah’s favorite outdoor space to relax, entertain, and to take in the sights and smells of the flowers from spring to fall. Take your time and smell the roses in this gem of a hidden garden.
During the winter months David focuses his gardening talents on an indoor collection of amaryllis and coleus plants.