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For The Garden

Driveway Centerpiece

Author: Nancy Erdmann
Issue: March, 2013, Page 68
Photo by Art Holeman

Create a focal point by rethinking an existing situation

To draw visitors toward the entry of a Phoenix-area home situated at the end of a long crushed-granite driveway, landscape designer César Mazier—a Phoenix Home & Garden Master of the Southwest—chose an existing palo verde tree to serve as a focal point.

The lone palo verde looked out of place without any complementary vegetation, and delivery trucks were damaging the tree’s lower branches on the narrow drive. By adding a stone barrier, plus colorful, low-maintenance plantings, the area would be more visible to drivers.

A low wall of stacked stones was built around the tree’s perimeter to form a rustic-looking border. Tall-growing blooming plants were then added on both sides of the rocks. “The beauty of this is that you can do it around any tree at any time,” says Mazier.

Inside the rock border is a variety of penstemons combined with globe mallow and queen’s wreath. On the outside, Mazier planted more penstemons, along with blanket flower, desert marigold and verbena.
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