Alta Vista Garden Club’s July Garden of the Month: The ‘Stoney Creek’ Garden
Once upon a time, an artist from England moved to Prescott and created a breathtaking garden on an Arizona mountainside among the pines in Timber Ridge.
Welcome to Alta Vista Garden Club’s July Garden of the Month at 1919 Timber Point West. This forested lot with steep sides, a flat bottom and a huge natural basin with a natural creek running through it provided an interesting challenge for the owner. With her knowledge of landscaping and building design, Christine Robinson began the awesome task of transforming this lot into a garden that reminds one of the famous Butchart Gardens of British Columbia.
Christine got help moving huge boulders into place and then began the arduous task of filling the space in between with rocks to artistically form her garden terraces. A creek runs through the property and needed to be controlled for those sometime “gully-washers” we can get in the mountains. A culvert was installed in the creek and was camouflaged with enormous boulders. Now the creek is controlled and a waterfall was created to catch runoff during heavy rains. Christine says it is one of her favorite features of the garden. This waterway, of course, called for a footbridge, which leads to a flagstone walkway and patio.
Once the infrastructure was in place, with her paintbrush and palette in hand, Christine began filling the canvas with a variety of trees, evergreens and shrubs of various textures and colors. She used red-tipped photinia, berberis, Oregon grape, junipers, holly, heavenly bamboo and yews. There are different shades of green and red represented. Mingled amongst them are perennials that bloom from early spring to late fall, such as creeping phlox, yellow yarrow, salvias, lavenders, bluebells, candy-tufts, hollyhocks, penstemon, Shasta daisies, and roses, making for an ever-changing display. This artist groups certain flowers or flower hues in a large planting so that their color enhances the foliage around them.
Favorite trees in this garden are the Colorado blue spruce and the Japanese maple. Color is everywhere in the rock-filled garden with red yarrow, pink mums, orange zinnias, blue delphiniums, lavender, phlox and echinacea. This garden’s beauty flourishes during every season. It has been the backdrop for wedding and graduation photos. Christine and her husband are “do-it-yourselfers” and built a wishing well using block and a wooden access door. They covered the well with faux stone. This wishing well cleverly hides the lawn mower.
Christine will tell you that gardening is her artistic outlet. “Placing plants to maximize their beauty is my version of painting.” Christine, we love your painting!
Christine Robinson joined the Alta Vista Garden Club in 2004, at which time her garden was selected to be on their biennial Prescott Garden Tour and it was selected again in 2012. In 2014, it was featured in Phoenix Home and Garden Magazine.
We invite you to come look at this beautiful garden and don’t forget to bring your camera!
For more information about the Alta Vista Garden Club, visit www.altavistagardenclub.org.