Garden Gallery: The Purple Desert Wall

desert garden purple wall

I share this garden (built by the quercus group) because, simply, this wall-cactus color combo stopped me in my tracks.  I would never expect to see such exciting and vibrant colors in a desert landscape.  WOW.

I’m not so good with cactii and desert plants, anyone care to identify these?  Thanks.

desert planting cactus and yellow flowers


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rochelle greayer

Hi, I'm Rochelle and for 18 years I have worked as a landscape designer, author/writer, and design teacher. I've designed residential and hospitality (for hotels, restaurants, and spas) gardens across the USA and in the UK, Europe and the Middle East. After many years of teaching garden design topics in person, I launched the PITH + VIGOR Boot Camp series in early 2018. Through my blog, social media, and online courses (Garden Design Bootcamp and Planting Design Boot Camp) I aim to help homeowners learn how to confidently design and create home gardens that reflect their own personal and unique style.
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  1. [email protected] on April 14, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    That’s David Cristiani’s own garden. He is the principle of Quercus Group and he’s really into using plants that are native and very site specific, so that they need almost no supplemental irrigation. The garden’s been on several garden tours. The vibrant palette is actually pretty common in a lot of desert landscape architecture these days. I think that Steve Martino in Phoenix started it with his Luis Barragan references.

  2. Darbi on April 25, 2011 at 10:38 am

    The cactus is indeed Opuntia violacea and the plant with the yellow flowers is Chrysactinia mexicana “Damianita”.

  3. David C. on April 30, 2011 at 10:31 am

    How cool to see this here! The yellow flowers are indeed Damianita / Chrysactinia mexicana; but Snakeweed would work in cooler climates like Santa Fe, or here and points warmer, as well. Correct on the Opuntia violacea ‘Tubac’, AKA Opuntia santa-rita – it recently froze, including some on the west wall, but it left behind a very hardy hybrid, also purple – Opuntia macrocentra is hardier and can really be purple. Glad you enjoyed!

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