Sam Hughes

A Desert Oasis

In central Tucson, the homeowners needed privacy, functional outdoor space, tenant parking and alley access. A masonry retaining wall replaced a chain link fence situated on a makeshift, rip rapped slope. The new wall created private outdoor living for tenants, screened a shed, and secured the rear yard. Steps and a custom lockable wood and steel gate provide alley access to a parking space.

Active and passive water harvesting elements were existing and included basins, cisterns, and in ground tanks. A custom steel trellis planted with a vine provided sun protection for the west-facing cistern. Two trellises mirroring each other served as the support for a retractable clothesline and vegetation that screened drying clothes from the small flagstone dining patio. Additional site elements include a seat wall, custom rattlesnake bike rack and a fire pit for cool desert nights.

The overall design complements an abundance of fruiting trees, in-ground garden beds, potted cacti and a gorgeous Native Mesquite. It is truly an oasis in the desert.

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