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June 2018
North Valley Photo Essay:
The Los Ranchos Garden (& Architecture) Tour

     The 45th Annual Parade of Gardens Tour swung through Los Ranchos this year & was curated beautifully. The diverse healthy gardens are the main draw, of course; the architectural features of many of the nine participants, though, was what enamored me. Los Ranchos de Albuquerque has a rich history starting with Native American settlers & then Spanish colonists, creating a community of small-to-mid agrarian homesites set alongside the Rio Grande. Evolving to today, the community has subdivided some of the farms, creating homesites & more lush gardens.

Albuquerque Garden Clubs describes the offerings as "large & diverse, from a 2-acre secluded refuge for birds, bees, butterflies & animals, to a tiny gem of a courtyard inspired by Monet's Garden."

I talked with one of the two artist-owners of the astounding courtyard garden, shown above. He mentioned that, no, they didn't have a cadre of a dozen helpers deadheading, pruning & re-imagining the garden daily, it was just the two of them... 

The two images below are a view into only part of the secluded 2-acre refuge. The grass & wildflower meadow is amazingly healthy, bordering the more formal garden with sculpture, further below.
     Directly above, & the trumpet vine garden below, surround a remarkable Spanish Pueblo Revival adobe home, complete with a latilla-covered portale & an elevated veranda, among other classic Pueblo features.
     Sitting in one corner of a large, nicely relaxed garden property just off Rio Grande sits an inviting pergola, with requisite latillas-over-vigas, above. It's south-facing orientation allows welcome passive solar warmth in the winter, & shade in the summer, when the mid-day arc of the sun is directly overhead.

The shutter detail, below, can be seen from the pergola; it features unique carved ridges & squares. It rained the night before & during the tour, which shows along the roofline of the SW Vernacular-style home, further below & the on shoulders of the pergola above. 
     Above is the front of the SW Vernacular-style home, with it's formal stepped parapet.

Meanwhile, in the MetroABQ's Raynolds Neighborhood Downtown...

Another example of a unique SW Vernacular-style home, found Downtown in the MetroABQ, can be seen below; this one has a great wavy parapet roofline that's also repeated for the enclosed front porch. Stand across the street & at the right position, the roofline resembles alternating waves. The porch was probably subsumed into the living space of the house more than a half century ago, keeping the exterior historic character, perhaps even accentuating it.
Join me this Sunday, June 24th, for an Open House at this urban & unique adobe-built, SW Vernacular-style home. It lives Downtown at 900 Silver Ave SW & is a fun place to visit. I like how the kitchen has been remodeled to be included with the other public rooms, making it comfortable for the person(s) preparing dinner to converse directly with her/his guests. 

I'll be there from 12-2pm. Thx for reading the newsletter!
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Albuquerque, NM 87106
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