2019 #3 El Jardin en Equilibrio

Subdivision: 104 Diamond Tail
Address: Wild Primrose
Owners: Erin and Jon Height
Garden Type or Features: A sense of balance was achieved in this garden through the selection of plants providing a range of height, textures and colors. The owners have added their personal garden additions through the years to enhance their basic “homescape” professional design.

The following artists will be painting at this garden:

    • AM – Carla Forrest
    • PM – Carol Carpenter

Description:  After having their Diamond Tail home built and being new to the high desert, Erin and Jon knew they needed help with the selection of their landscape plants.   Their builder, Bill Reynolds of New Haven Homes, introduced them to Hilltop Landscaping and with their guidance the Heights were able to identify plants that work best for this high elevation growing zone, soil composition, and high desert micro-climate.  It was clear that if they did the landscape themselves, as they had done with their past homes in New Jersey, it may never be completed. The challenges faced at this location were wind, water, and rock.  Almost every hole had to be jackhammered.

Erin and Jon’s landscape goal was to achieve a sense of balance through the selection of plants providing a range of height, textures and colors. Aspens, Pinon and Austrian pines and surrounding native juniper command the higher level. Three leaf sumac, Mugo pines, prickly pear, agave and other succulents populate the medium level scale. Low lying plants and pots of annuals soften and fill in the lower scale with form, color and texture. The sound of moving water from a front courtyard water feature provides a soothing ambience. The front entrance gate was built by local craftsmen as were the metal gates to the walkway surrounding the rear portal area.

Diamond Tail requires restoration of the land after construction. The goal was to create new areas that do not clash with the land in its original state. After 8 years we continue to maintain that balance.

Watering on this property is accomplished by an extensive drip irrigation system. Runoff is contained by ponding to allow regeneration of the aquifer.

More Information:  A large engraved boulder with the number “104” marks this Wild Primrose property. Several established prickly pear, red yucca, and agave succulents grace the entry boulder. The driveway leads up to the front courtyard and then a 3-car garage entry pad. The front serviceable entrances to the home were built to take in the east Sandia mountain view. Native planted apache plum, red yucca grass, agaves and existing one seeded juniper trees anchor the foreground to the mountain view. A green stained antique wooden gate and a large pinon pine to the left beautifully accent the outdoor entry to the front courtyard. The front courtyard frames the photogenic front home entrance portal and wooden distressed door. The curvy entry walk asymmetrically intersects the front courtyard with the left facing third planted with a large Austrian pine and aspen trees.   The right larger portion of the courtyard is anchored by a large stone water feature and planted with mostly mid-height shrubs and additional aspen trees. This courtyard oasis was landscaped using the asymmetric principle of balance.

Jon and Erin have consistently added to their original landscape plants and perform their own garden maintenance. This home property has been landscaped on three sides of the home defined by hardscaped walls, pathways and different colors of landscape rock and borders. The back courtyard is totally enclosed, gate accessible to a service vehicle, and is anchored by a large swimming pool, large back portal, and patio perfect for entertaining outdoors. Planted areas to the north and west of the pool include large shrubs, perennials and agaves. The south side of the home is not enclosed and includes native flowers, vegetable garden growing enclosures, and fruit trees on the southeast side bordering their garage driveway entrance area.   Jon and Erin would like to plant more fruit trees including apricot varieties.

Jon and Erin are not afraid to grow different types of plants and learn from the experience. A few years back they planted iris bulbs in a prepared plot expecting a profusion of blooms the following spring. The iris plants have not bloomed well since with no identifiable cause. Jon and Erin are still learning about their high elevation growing zone, unique soil composition, plant irrigation requirements, and improved use of their property micro-climates for growing fruit tree varietals.