Phoenix garden offers natural retreat

Sunset  – November 24, 2004

Outdoor living: Phoenix, Arizona

When designing a garden in the desert, you have two options: welcome its plants and animals into the garden or fence them out. Landscape architect Christy Ten Eyck chose the former, embracing the desert in this Phoenix garden. The site’s alluring beauty set the stage for generous outdoor living areas full of colorful native plants, with the Phoenix Mountains Preserve as a backdrop. The garden’s lines “are both elegant and comforting,” said a juror.

In the front courtyard, graceful curved planters and steps form concentric circles around a patio of recycled concrete. Palo verdes provide light shade; penstemon, desert milkweed, and other natives attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

In the backyard, low, curved retaining walls shore up the sloping hillside. An outcropping of boulders bisects the walls, spilling water into a swimming hole and pond. “This garden could melt your cares away,” concluded one juror.

Designer: Christy Ten Eyck, Ten Eyck Landscape Architects, Phoenix (602/ 468-0505)

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