I mentioned this tour and many others in a post last weekend. Miraculously, my schedule parted and left Saturday open so I wasn’t going to miss it.

Six homes were on the tour ($20 donation) and many volunteer master gardeners were at each home to answer your questions.

One home in the Paradise Valley Mall area backed to a green golf course but they turned their large backyard into a desert wild flower garden. The desert marigolds below are a common and extemely attractive landscape plant.


I hate the name “California poppies.” These flowers are native to Arizona, too, ya know!

In an especially wet and magical winter, these glorious flowers will cover certain desert areas with their color. “Carpet” is the word usually used.


A home in Paradise Valley had this particularly luxuriant penstemon.


The show stopper was clearly home 6 in Baja Arcadia. It was a bit of a ringer because the husband was a landscape architect. The wife assured me, however, that her husband although a brilliant designer couldn’t grow a thing and that she was responsible for the garden.

This place went beyond gardening and somewhere along the line became a work of art… but better than most art because this is a living and breathing work of art.

It included a ton of succulents, these needed shade.


The focal point of the backyard was the Koi pond with a little waterfall and stream feeding it.


Another terrific feature was this vegetable garden area with brick pathways.


As you can see here, people just hung out and enjoyed the fantastic Phoenix weather in this wonderful place.


You can become a Master Gardener by joining their summer session which is every Tuesday night, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, July 10 through October 30 at the Maricopa County Cooperative Extension, near S. 44 St and Broadway, 602-470-1556 x 1017.

BTW, the woman, Sherrie Zeitlin, who created the show stopper garden above makes ceramics and she is having a sales event at her studio and garden (4926 E. Weldon, Phoenix) on Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, featuring “Unusual Pots and Garden Ornamentation for People Who Collect Plants.”

The “Encanto-Palmcroft Historic Home & Garden Tour” is tomorrow, Sunday March 25, and there are 2 more tours next weekend. Click for more information.