Residential Gardens

Catalina Foothills

Tucson, Arizona

Infusing a modern desert retreat with vibrancy and sustainability

Set in the foothills of the Catalina Mountains in Tucson, the Catalina Foothills garden illustrates excellence for its use of color, playfulness, careful attention to the native vegetation palette and water conservation. Early in the design process, designers investigated and mapped the micro-habitats that occur as a result of building in the desert, such as drainage ways, wet, dry and shady areas. The team then identified and incorporated a diverse array of desert plants that thrive in each micro-climate. The team also implemented the region’s first residential graywater reuse system in Arizona, intended to reduce water consumption by approximately forty percent. Innovation, combined with a striking planting palette reflective of its region, creates a notable environment for owners and their guests.

“The expression of color and subtle use of detail is amazing. When the client is giving all this input on color, the designer can’t always make all the details work. This is playful and fun. It is impressive how the scale encompasses small plants in some areas and larger bushes in others. The plants and spatial architecture come together, and the color of the plants comes together with the surroundings. They were very well selected.” — National ASLA Professional Awards Jury

Services Provided: Site Analysis, Zoning & Land Use Approvals, Site Planning, Conceptual Design, Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Permitting, Bidding/Negotiations, Construction Observation, Grading & Drainage Plans, Landscape Architecture


  • Honor Award for Residential Design, ASLA National


Suby Bowden, Sam Leyba, Willmeng Construction