Taqueria style

Bold color and salvaged materials create an imaginative Tucson backyard
Sharon Cohoon

The funky ambience of Tucson's taco shops inspired Scott and Deirdre Calhoun to make imaginative use of bold colors and salvaged materials in their tiny 36- by 15-foot backyard. The focal point is an 8-foot-square steel ramada, designed by Scott and fabricated on-site. Concrete-reinforcing wire on the sides and top supports queen's wreath and other vines.

A collection of Mexican soda pop bottles dangle overhead, along with a disco ball made from snips of tin cans. The periwinkle blue fountain is Deirdre's contribution; she built a wooden box out of plywood and 2-by-4s and added a pond liner. Three recycled closet doors, decorated with Corona beer trays, act as a backdrop.

The checkerboard paving fits right into the theme: 4-inch-thick adobe bricks alternate with 4-inch-deep square pockets of decomposed granite. The pockets soak up and store precious rainfall.

DESIGN: Scott Calhoun, ZonaGardens, Tucson (520/867-8038)