Santa Fe Inspirations

– Posted in: Garden Adventures

Recently in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I saw outdoor design ideas that were clever, entertaining and a little quirky. (A little Albuquerque, too—more about that later.) Like this vignette at a Canyon Road gallery: a painting paired with annuals.

Don’t want to hang your outdoor oil painting on the wall? Prop it on an easel. Plunk some coleus nearby.

All this yard needs is an orange-flowering shrub.

This one’s for those of you who boo-hoo because you can’t grow bamboo. (Sorry.)

What every porch needs: a fainting couch. I’ll take that obsidian kitty, too.

No space? Do a flowerpot mural alongside your front door.

This is almost pretty enough to make me like petunias.

If you have a fondness for retro treasures, you’ll like this: a ladies’ bicycle dating to when women didn’t pedal in pants (pre-pedal-pushers)…and I’m guessing this not only because of the basket. I suspect the metal grill on the rear wheel is to keep a skirt from getting caught in the spokes.

Notice how the bike is Santa Fe’s iconic accent color: turquoise. The blue goes beautifully with tan, rust, warm sunset hues and adobe-brown. Also, the semiprecious stone, turquoise, is THE main component of the region’s jewelry. (More about that later, too.)

You see Ubiquitous Blue in wrought iron and cars (btw, on Canyon Road, this car-railing pairing probably was no coincidence)…

…on shutters and window mullions…

…verdigris horses subtly adorning front yards…

…and even mailboxes. Archways are another New Mexico icon. I count 19 repetitions of the form in this photo. How about you?

But really, nothing is as pretty against a tan wall as a morning-glory vine…

…except maybe Russian sage (Perovskia).

As for Albuquerque, it does have a quaint old-timey shopping district, too, but it’s not the same as Santa Fe’s Canyon Road.

As for turquoise jewelry and other shopper’s delights, head on over to my , pardnah, for a corral-full of photos I shot downtown Santa Fe and at the annual Indian Market—which, btw, is not trinkets for sale but rather fine art priced in the thousands of dollars, sold by hundreds of Native American artists, and aswarm with collectors bedecked in semiprecious stones as big as dinner plates, who fly in from all over.

The collectors, that is.

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Debra Lee Baldwin

Award-winning garden photojournalist Debra Lee Baldwin authored Designing with Succulents, Succulent Container Gardens, and Succulents Simplified, all Timber Press bestsellers. Her goal is to enhance others' enjoyment and awareness of waterwise plants and gardens by showcasing the beauty and design potential of succulents via books, articles, newsletters, photos, videos, social media and more. Debra and husband Jeff live in the foothills north of San Diego. She grew up in Southern California on an avocado ranch, speaks conversational Spanish, and at age 18 graduated magna cum laude from USIU with a degree in English Literature. Her hobbies include thrifting, birding and watercolor painting. Debra's YouTube channel has had over 3,000,000 views.
Debra Lee Baldwin
Debra Lee Baldwin
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