Southwest style: Courtyard pond

Unthirsty plants fringe this pond in a New Mexico garden
Susan P. Blevins

When landscape architect Stephen K. Domigan designed a landscape plan for Helanie and Howard Greene in Arroyo Seco, north of Taos, New Mexico, he included a pond in their rear courtyard. The pinto bean-shaped pond is 4 feet deep in the middle, with an underwater shelf around the edge to hold containers of aquatic plants such as hardy water lilies and papyrus. Two biofilters keep the water clean, and two bubblers oxygenate the water for the koi that live in it. A recirculating pump feeds a small waterfall on the pond's east side. Even in summer, it loses only about 1 inch of water per week to evaporation. That amounts to less water than a comparably sized turfgrass lawn requires.

Around the pond, water-thrifty perennials and shrubs provide splashes of color. They include, from left to right in the foreground, purple-flowered Russian sage, hot pink ice plant, evergreen Euphorbia myrsinites, white-flowered Datura inoxia, and blue mist (Caryopteris x clandonensis 'Longwood Blue').

DESIGN: Stephen K. Domigan Landscape Architect, Taos, NM (505/751-1561)