Magazine article Sunset

Serenity in Santa Fe

Magazine article Sunset

Serenity in Santa Fe

Article excerpt

A New Mexico garden offers lessons in incorporating Far East style

THE NATIVE LANDSCAPE of New Mexico wouldn't look out of place on a Japanese scroll. So says Santa Fe landscape designer Richard Wilder: "Our naturally dwarfed conifers, the large patches of open space, the repetition of a few plants-it's pretty si mi lar." So it's no surprise that the reverse is also true. "Asianstyle gardens can look at home here," Wilder says.

The entrance courtyard shown above is a good example. Wilder used conifers-dwarf mugho pine, jack pine, 'Hillside Creeper' Scotch pine-that stand up to the Southwest's harsh climate. Groundcovers such as blue fescue, woolly thyme, and Turkish speedwell do the same. But Wilder put them together in a style reminiscent of a Japanese view garden-"only not so tightly controlled," he says. Call it Zen gardening without the raking.

INFO Design: Richard Wilder, Wilder Landscaping, Santa Fe (505/989-8524.). Resources: granite bench, fountain bowl, and Chinese figures from Stone Forest (wwwstoneforeit.com or 505/986-8883).

Four great ideas from this garden

1.Think green if you want a serene garden. Asian gardens feel peaceful because there's emphasis on texture and foliage rather than flowers, Wilder says. …

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