Residential Landscape Design Ideas – Check Out GrowDown!

This last weekend I had a chance to check out a residential landscape design competition at our local botanical garden, and it was a real hoot.  I mean it!  It was a bunch of landscape and plant nerds and a great time was had by all.  I knew all three competing designers and they each did beautiful, thoughtful, and detailed design installations.  If you’re in the market for some landscape changes or additions, I really recommend heading over to Tucson Botanical Gardens to take a look – I think the installations will be up for a few months (though, looking their best right about now).  You can get a whole slew of ideas – rain cisterns, shade structures, fire pits, native and edible plant palettes, patio furniture, chicken coops, trellises – honestly the whole works.  What’s more, they list the dollar amount spent on each installation (not including design or installation fees – materials only).  They range from something like $2500 to $7500 spent on each of the 15′ x 20′ plots, so you can see how quickly (quality) landscaping adds up.  (On the money side of things, I sometimes recommend that people compare how much they would spend on a total kitchen remodel and relate that to how it’s possible to spend an equal or greater amount on an outdoor space).


So here are just a few quick comments on each of the three designs, and a couple not-so-great photos.  You really need to see this stuff in person to get the right idea.


This first space was done by Iylea Olson representing LJ Design & Consulting.  It features a fantastic shade structure (knocking out that south and west sun), a deck with comfy patio chairs, a rain water cistern, multiple edible and native garden beds, creative trellises with grape vines, and some fancy potted plants.  Love it!!  I want this in my yard.


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Next up is an installation done by Maria Voris of Petrichor Design + Build.  As you can see, the main feature is a shade structure with a huge swing!  So fun.  In addition, the space has a rain cistern, privacy fencing, custom pathway pavers, rain harvesting basins, and some incredible structural plants.  Truly a relaxing space.

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And finally we have a design by Micaela Michado representing Solana Outdoor Living.  This outdoor space offers up a stunning rammed earth wall, a creative chicken coop, gabion + rebar planter walls, a custom fire pit, designer furniture, and plenty of statement plants in ceramic pots.  What’s not to love?

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So get on over to the botanical gardens and take a look.  You’ll come away with plenty of inspiration and motivation, especially since we’re in the full swing of spring.  Time to start some digging and planting!



1 Comment
  1. Hey Nat, thanks for the shout out!

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