Seamless garden flow

Turn a sunken courtyard inside out by bringing in a natural landscape

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  • Deep rose pink spires of Veronica spicata ‘Red Fox’ stand out against terra-cotta-colored walls.

    Seamless garden flow

    D.A. Horchner

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Use tough plants in a tough climate
Okuma loves what she calls “settlement plants,” which are “the ones still surviving on an abandoned property five years later,” she explains. Most of the plants she used on this exposed hillside property – including catmint, ‘Hyperion’ daylilies, santolina, Veronica spicata  ‘Red Fox’, and ‘The Fairy’, an exceptionally sturdy polyantha rose – fit that category.

Let nature draw the lines
Carefully defined patterns are too formal and precise for a garden that sits in the midst of wild land. Planting randomly and allowing plants to create their own free-flowing design results in a more natural look that blends better with the surrounding native habitat. “Besides, it’s easier to maintain,” Okuma says.

Embrace tradition
The gates and walls tell us we’re in Santa Fe. Though these vintage gates weren’t needed for privacy at the isolated location, Okuma incorporated them to help provide the mood she wanted.

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