A Desert-Adapted Landscape
Steve Martino designed this desert-adapted landscape in Phoenix to focus on the best views the surrounding indigenous landscape has to offer and bring sculptural native plants into the garden
This long gray wall blocks the view of the street beyond. This area used to be a planter but was converted to an outdoor living area at the back of the property complete with a large fireplace. The patio is paved with decomposed granite.
Designing with Fire
A simple wall fountain with a pipe spout adds sound, color, and serenity along the entry drive.
Walls focus the space to mountain views beyond while also screening out bad views. The fountain and large tan wall screen a neighboring house. The red wall screens the driveway. This small lawn is bordered by agaves, prickly pear, and orange lantana.
Perforated shade screen allows views from the inside windows to the garden while providing protection from the sun on hot desert days. A wire trellis allows orange blooming lantana to grow up the sides of the screen, adding color and extra shade. Native prickly pear provides texture and color.
A masonry bench covered with tan stucco and planted with bougainvillea screens the neighbor’s house.
Masonry walls and steel panels form the end of a courtyard. The blue-gray of the agaves and aloes stand out against the purple and rust colored walls.
Using Corten Steel in the Garden
The bold red wall brings out the dramatic branching of the ocotillos.
Vibrant yellow blooms of an aloe vera pop against colorful walls.
Palo verde trees in this entry patio provide filtered shade and great color. Yellow flowers from the palo verde trees cover the ground while yellow spikes from aloe vera shoot upward. This lively area full of native plants and color was once a driveway.
See more projects from Steve Martino Landscape Architect.
This bonus content accompanied "Ways to Go Wild"—a special section in the Spring 2016 issue of Garden Design magazine—in which 18 experts share tips on how to fill your garden with biodiversity and beauty.