A lot goes into designing a landscape; hence, there’s an entire profession called landscape architecture devoted to designing outdoor spaces. We won’t be able to make you a landscape architect today, but we’re sharing a unique landscape plan designed by New Mexico landscape designer Judith Phillips to get you inspired with ideas for designing your own yard. We’ll be sharing five more landscape plans in future issues of 505Outside.

Plant for wildlife and you will host a never-ending garden party. Wildscapes should have tiers of canopy to provide shelter and food for a wide variety of wildlife, including birds, hummingbirds, bees and butterflies. Tall trees provide shade and shelter. Dense thickets of middle-height shrubs provide spaces for roosting and nesting and also give the landscape a sense of enclosure. Open areas with low-growing groundcovers provide areas for nesting and foraging, and the colorful flowers and berries appeal to people as well as winged visitors. A mix of evergreen plants for cover, brilliant flowers for nectar and pollen, and fruits and seeds ripening through the seasons will keep your wildlife friends fat and happy. In this wildscape, the gayfeather, dwarf goldenrod, leadplant, yarrow, rue, grasses and dwarf butterfly bush are lures for butterflies. Hummingbirds are drawn to plants with nectar-rich tubular flowers, such as desert willow, penstemons, cherry sage, coral honeysuckle and red yucca. Local songbirds and quail will be attracted by New Mexico olive, sumacs, creosote bush, desert mule’s ear, coneflowers, shadscale, gayfeather and algerita.

Designed by Judith Phillips, author of Plants for Natural Gardens

Learn more about specific types of gardening here:

Simple Steps to Get Started Designing Your Yard

Xeriscape Landscape Type

Coolscape Landscape Plan: A Cool and Calming Southwestern Oasis

Easy Edible Plants for First Time Growers

Water Harvesting for Residential Landscapes

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