This Albuquerque backyard is a vacation in itself—complete with road trips. See 5 things that make it work
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Designed for discovery
Meandering paths, dry creek beds, and shared materials connect low-water planting areas, a shady patio, and grass-filled "traffic" circle.
Design: Amy J. Steidlmayer, Red Twig Studio, Albuquerque (505/265-0082)
2 of 6Steven A. Gunther
The arbor-shaded patio with banco seating invites guests to the garden’s far reaches. The fireplace is faced with the same cultured stone as the circular planter, visually connecting the two areas.
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A large round planter, filled with 'Hameln' fountain grass, encourages a circular traffic pattern. It’s built of cement blocks and faced with cultured stone.
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Small wooden bridges span the path. In summer, the dry creekbed is a river of gold, thanks to the generous daisylike blooms of Perky Sue (Hymenoxys scaposa).
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Carefully chosen plants prompt frequent stops along the route during every season. These include tawny grasses; yellow-flowered Perky Sue, potentilla, and turpentine bush; and blue-flowered Caryopteris.
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The desert rose color of the fine gravel makes the path stand out from the coarser gray gravel mulch around it, inviting you to follow its lazy course.