Editor’s Letter for April/May 2023
By John Roark
We’ve made it. Springtime in the Valley. During our summers, as we sweat through our clothes without dignity, and we dash to or from our cars to the nearest air-conditioned refuge, we think about how the trade-off is worth it—how lucky we are in autumn and winter, but particularly in the spring. Trees are budding; flowers are flowering; breezes are breezing and life is good. So good.
Here at Phoenix Home & Garden, this is when we start looking for landscapes to photograph. Generally speaking, April and May are our peak shooting months, when everything is in leaf and bloom. I was surprised to learn that once it gets too hot outside, digital cameras can overheat and shut down. During photo shoots, we’ve had to stash them in a refrigerator for 20 minutes to cool down before we can continue our work.
One of my favorite parts of my job (stop me if you’ve heard this before) is visiting the projects that are camera-ready. Not only do I get to see truly stellar gardens all over Arizona, but I also have the honor of spending time with the landscape architects and designers who lovingly created them. To walk the land with these creatives and hear them speak from the heart about their love of the Sonoran Desert, to learn how and why they do what they do so well, is energizing, fascinating, educational, humbling and deeply gratifying. I am often dumbstruck by these landscapes. Big or small, manicured or wild, romantic and charming—I’ve seen it all and yet never tire of experiencing the infinite number of interpretations.
The possibilities are endless, and we delight in sharing some of Arizona’s loveliest outdoor spaces with you on the pages ahead. While we’re on a roll, let’s take it one step further: Join us for our annual Garden Tour on Saturday, April 15, when we proudly bring you a selection of the Valley’s most exceptional gardens. It’s the perfect day to breathe in the beauty that surrounds us. For tickets and more information, visit phgmag.com/gardentour.
Editor in Chief