Ghost Wash

An award-winning garden at a desert home in Arizona

Replacing a water-intensive garden at a private home in Arizona with sympathetic desert planting has won its designers an Architizer A+Award.

The garden of a private property, Ghost Wash, in the desert area of Paradise Valley, Arizona, is among the winners of the ninth annual Architizer A+Awards.

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It was designed by Colwell Shelor Landscape Architects and completed in 2017, consisting of a two-and-a-half-acre sloping site formerly filled with water-intensive planting which required continuous maintenance due to the home’s location – the top of the alluvial fan of Camelback mountain in Arizona with high temperatures touching 41 degrees in July and August.

Ghost Wash
© Colwell Shelor Landscape Architecture

The home’s name of Ghost Wash refers to its position between two desert washes carrying storm water through the site into the valley below, which is then harvested and stored to irrigate the new garden.

Harris Bugg Studio temporary garden for the Berlin Film Festival

The new planting scheme removed the troublesome, non-native planting such as 6,000 square feet of turf, and a 20’ tall Oleanderand hedge, replacing it with complementary species from arid regions from around the world. It now offers a star selection of desert plant life with a strong advocacy for desert conservation and sustainability.

Ghost Wash
© Colwell Shelor Landscape Architecture
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The removal of the hedge also resorted the house’s views to the mountains, while the planting sympathetically reconnected the site to its surroundings with cacti, wildflowers and grasses native to Camelback Mountain.

Ghost Wash
© Colwell Shelor Landscape Architecture
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