Desert overlook

Kim Nelson

A stunning garden can pleasantly result from problem solving. Such was the case for Agnes Stahlschmidt and Parviz Nikravesh's Tucson front yard, where a garage addition isolated the home from the surrounding desert.

To solve the problem, landscape architect Rebecca Doxtater borrowed space from the steep front yard by cutting into a slope and adding a brick-capped retaining wall and terraced steps. A blue-tiled fountain reflects Nikravesh's Persian heritage. Doxtater salvaged many existing plants to use in the new landscape. A native mesquite tree, foothills palo verde, barrel cactus, and century plant anchor the design. Doxtater added octopus agaves, lantana, and red bird of paradise (Caesalpinia pulcherrima) to give the area lushness. Potted agaves and golden barrels complete the effect.

Design: Rebecca Doxtater, Landscape Architect, Tucson (520/886-8662)