Thursday, July 9, 2009
A Southwestern garden by Steve Martino is featured among the residential award winners in our Sept/Oct 2009 issue. "This project addresses the difficult conflict of contemporary expectations in an environment whose foundation is the fragile Sonoran desert landscape," says Martino. "Rather than denying the desert, the garden strives to celebrate it. The use of native plants has created a habitat that directly links the garden to the ecological processes of the region. Non-native trees, plants and lawn have been removed and replaced with natives. A row of salvaged desert trees were located between the house and the street which have transformed the house from being an object to becoming a place. The project benefits from rainwater harvesting, drip irrigation, regional and native plant material use, as well as porous paving. Most importantly, in an area where perfectly fine homes are torn down and replaced with large new homes, these owners chose to 'recycle' and remodel their existing house. The project illustrates that the new design can be artful as well as healing and nurturing to the environment."