Tucson cottage color

Seasonal flowers thrive in a renovated garden
Kim Nelson

Garden remodels happen for all kinds of reasons, but plant-eating pigs aren't usually one of them―unless you live in javelina country. After tolerating multiple attacks by these pig relatives, Cliff and Edna Osborne of Tucson called landscape designer Lisa Balcer for help. What started as a pest problem became a full renovation, as Lisa transformed their front yard from a few beds of annual flowers to the colorful cottage garden shown here.

Lisa and her husband, Rich, owners of Desert Bloom Nursery and Landscaping, terraced the gently sloping yard with low stone walls to create a series of level planting beds. After filling them with well-amended soil, they anchored the beds with flowering perennials, including blue plumbago, Cleveland sage, euryops, Japanese boxwood, lamium, lantana, lavender, marguerite, natal plum, rosemary, and roses. Colorful cool-season annuals fill in around them. An existing mesquite allows plenty of light during the cooler months when it's leafless and lightly shades the garden when it's hot.

The beds are surrounded by a wrought-iron fence, which keeps the garden open but protects it from the javelinas.

Design: Lisa and Rich Balcer, Desert Bloom Nursery and Landscaping, Tucson (520/749-0604)