Flagstaff Landscaping Showcase of Beauty: Transforming 7,000 s.f. of Dead, Ugly Lawn into Native Xeriscaping

Posted on August 24, 2010

Custom Metal Entry Structure

Custom Metal Entry Structure

This summer I was very excited to have a great project implemented in the Lockett Ranches neighborhood. I have worked with several homeowners in this area and truly enjoy creating some outstanding landscapes. This summer, I had the pleasure of working with Elizabeth Stegall (the homeowner) and Warner’s Landscape Company to transform 7,000 s.f. of lawn into an outdoor oasis that complements her home’s architecture, complete with sitting areas, pathways, berms, lighting, native and ornamental plantings, a rock column water feature, firepit, secret garden, and fern meadow with fruit trees — not to mention a custom metal entry feature. We all enjoyed seeing this project become a reality.

stegallplan-copy2Elizabeth says, “I want to thank you for doing such an outstanding job on my backyard. You have turned a dead, ugly area into a showcase of beauty. Not only did you design a beautiful space for me, Chris and his team at Warner’s enjoyed making the project a reality. I can’t wait to see the plants as they mature. The entry structure arch is a triumph — so beautiful. Thank you again for everything.”

The patchy, oversized lawn.

The patchy, oversized lawn.

When Elizabeth contacted me last year, we started with a large lawn area — just over 7,000 s.f. Although she had anticipated her young daughter using it for play, it was a patchy, unused piece of her property that also consumed alot of water. In addition, it was located over her home’s septic system lines, so the design considerations needed to take this into account. Luckily, her system is a Geoflow system, which meant we could plant and even install some low berms. Plantings include natives such as Gambel Oak, Aspen, White Fir, Limber Pine, Common Juniper, Woods Rose, Three-Leaf Sumac, Twinberry Honeysuckle, Male Fern, Geranium, and Yarrow. We also included many hardy ornamentals able to withstand the short growing season above 7,000′.

Curving paths connect a series of spaces.

Curving paths connect a series of spaces.

We entertained a few different approaches during the design phase and ultimately ended up with sitting areas connected by curving pathways lined with sandstone. The largest sitting area is for entertaining friends and hosts a firepit and rock water column. A second sitting area overlooks a native fern meadow with fruit trees planted in orchard rows, while a stepped pathway leads to a secret garden surrounded with Gambel Oaks. The overall space can also be enjoyed from Elizabeth’s large kitchen window, framed by the custom metal arch. Just beyond the arch is a series of raised vegetable beds — unplanted this year but sure to bring an abundance next season.

No sight of the patchy lawn now!

No sight of the patchy lawn now!

This landscape will be featured in the Flagstaff Garden Tour this Sunday, August 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is located at 3315 N. Antler Crossing in Lockett Ranches. Take Hwy 180 north to Quintana, just past the County building. Turn right on Quintana, and then right again on Antler Crossing. I hope you will come check it out, get inspired, and see how an outdoor space can truly be transformed!

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