Is everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather in Santa Fe right now?
This front courtyard had previously been landscaped quite a long time ago in a simple design with grey crushed gravel and flagstone steps. The plants that were used were Blue Oat grasses, a couple Holly Hocks, and Russian Sage that spread throughout the yard, which gave the courtyard a messy look.
There was also a dry river bed that helped to direct rain water from the roof outside the courtyard but it was a little on the small side and needed to be redone. The end goal for this project was to create a beautiful, easy to maintain yard that looked clean but had enough plants to brighten up the space.
First, we remove all the gravel and flagstone, including the rock in the dry river bed which left us an empty yard with dirt exposed, making it easier for us to start removing plants and its root systems - extra attention was spent on the Russian Sage and removed as many suckers as we could. A wider dry riverbed was trenched out to help the water find its way out of the courtyard.
We brought in several different varieties of easy to care for plants: Tickseed, Potentilla, Penstemon, Powis Castle, Blue Mist Spirea, Karl Forester grass, and a dwarf Blue Spruce. A 12' Blue Cypress tree was also brough in, which is the perfect tree for this area since it wouldn't grow too wide. We dug holes, amended soil and re-worked the irrigation to water all the new plants. New weed barrier was installed to help prevent any of the Russian Sage from coming back.
A functional water feature was installed that incorporated into the dry riverbed. The idea in redesigning the dry river bed was to fork off into the middle of the yard so the bed could be more incorporated into the whole yard. The dry river bed was trenched in a way for the fork to be more for show and did not draw water to the main part. Once all the river rock was used, we spread crushed 3/8" gravel to finish.