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A colorful landscape might seem far-fetched in Santa Fe's arid hills, where sun, wind, and hungry rabbits challenge even the toughest plants. But thanks to a graceful design, smart plant choices, and an innovative water recycling system, a barren space was converted into an exuberant garden.
The designers tamed a 6-foot slope with a series of uneven stone terraces, then filled the stairstep planters with rich top soil and aromatic, rabbit-resistant plants such as lavender, penstemon, salvias, santolina, shrub roses ('Carefree Wonder' and 'Knock Out'), and 'Moonshine' yarrow. The Pirana water treatment system recycles all household wastewater, using microbes and ultraviolet light, to create a nonpotable source of irrigation water.
Design: Monika Hellwegen and Azul Cobb, Carlotta from Paradise, Santa Fe (505/983-1109).