Earlier this week, I was finishing up an appointment in downtown Phoenix and since I had some spare time available, I decided to drive through one of my favorite historic neighborhoods - the Encanto-Palmcroft district.
I always enjoy driving down streets looking at homes built long ago and seeing how they are landscaped. Some, remain the traditional landscaping with green lawns, neatly pruned shrubs and deciduous trees, like the one above.
I love porches, which aren't a popular feature in southwestern homes in general. These homeowners made the most of their small porch with a pair of rocking chairs and colorful Talavera pottery.
Some of the houses had taken on some more modern design elements such as adding raised beds and a small courtyard.
I really liked this raised bed which was filled with plants prized for foliage and not flowers.
While there were still front landscapes filled almost entirely with grass, but some had decreased the amount of grass. I liked this one where two rectangles of grass flanked the front entry, yet stops at the wooden fence where it transitions to a xeriscape. It speaks to the historic roots of the neighborhood while injecting a touch of modernity.
Plants such as artichoke agave (Agave parryi 'truncata') and lady's slipper (Pedilanthus macrocarpus) fit in seamlessly with the other more traditional landscape elements in this garden.
This home also retained its lawn but added drought tolerant plants up toward the foundation. The spiky texture of agave and yucca add a contemporary touch along with texture contrast.
Here is a car that you would expect to see when many of these homes were brand new.
Check out the large Texas olive (Cordia boissieri).
This home had a walled-in courtyard added for privacy and a curved path leads up toward the entry.
The pathway leading toward the residence begins at the parking strip and is flanked by river rock.
A couple of the historic homes shed their green lawns and formerly pruned shrubs completely.
Mature specimens of ironwood (Olneya tesota), jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis), and creosote (Larrea tridentata) create privacy for this house.
An informal pathway also bisects this parking strip leading toward the entry path to the house.
The purple door contrasts beautifully with the hunter green color of the house.
The backyard of this desert retreat is surrounded by a fence made of rebar.
Small vignettes are visible through plantings of hopbush (Dodonaea viscosa) and yucca.
As I left the historic district, I spotted a beautiful specimen of a palo blanco tree (Acacia willardiana).
I could have spent several hours exploring the Encanto-Palmcroft historic district, but it's nice to have a reason to come back again someday.
*You can view another garden in this historic district from an earlier post, A Hidden Jewel In the Middle of Phoenix.