2021 #5 Descanso de Aves (Bird Rest)

Subdivision: Mustang Mesa
Address: 2 Palomino Road
Owners: Paul and Debbie Norman
Garden Type or Features: California Coastal, decks, pathways, water feature, sculpture, strategic fencing structures, views
Bonus: Labyrinth on neighboring property to be open for touring

The following artists will be at this garden:

  • Reid Bandeen – 9am – Noon
  • Jim Holley – 1pm – 4pm

Description: When Paul and Debbie Norman moved into their newly built home on Mustang Mesa in the fall of 2013, they set out to create a Mesa garden that took advantage of the existing natural landscape elements: juniper, cactus, grasses, and rock……lots of rock.

An avid gardener, Paul sought to create a peaceful space to enjoy the ever-changing high desert skies, and to provide a sanctuary for the numerous birds that pass through in all seasons.

After seven years, Paul believes his vision is taking shape, albeit hampered by drought – especially last summer’s lack of rainfall.

Appropriately named Descanso de Aves (Bird Rest), Paul’s garden features regional native plants including feather grasses, sage, chamisa, apache plume, and high desert wildflowers that have proven popular with bees, butterflies, goldfinches, and hummingbirds. In addition to an extensive drip system, a cistern under the planting beds provides added hydration during dry summer months. The strategic and artful use of rock throughout the landscaping pays homage to the Puebloan methods of mulching crops.

The inclusion of two water features ensures that the birds have a safe and enjoyable spot to feed, bathe, and nest in nearby trees.

Paul’s previous career as a creator of garden ware and furniture is evident in the use of sculpture, wall plaques, and planters throughout the landscape. Gradually, three distinct garden areas have evolved in which Paul and Debbie can enjoy the unsurpassed views of the Sandia peaks and the Jemez mountain range from their Mesa property location.

When visiting Descanso de Aves, be sure to walk across the street to take in the impressive garden labyrinth constructed by neighbors Mike Mahoney and Gordy Byrne. This labyrinth is a replica of the 13th century Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth in northwestern France and is a unique feature of Mike and Gordy’s developing garden.

Bonus: Labyrinth on neighboring property to be open for touring