A Tuscan style studio view

Homes in New Mexico have Canales instead of downspout gutters. These are basically just holes with a metal u-shaped lip where the water pours off the house in a torrent on the few days a year when we get rain – usually in the form of flash flooding. This all began in trying to address the fact that water pours off the roof right next to my studio door and quickly builds to a puddle, sometimes seeping in. It quickly escalated into a desire to beautify the space since I always found it depressing to look out the studio door onto gravel and rock.

How it looked when I began
How it looked when I began

Why an area that is subject to flooding would be without drainage and water collection is beyond me, but Las Cruces has no storm drain system or rain water cisterns.

Paisley shaped ditch outlined in rock
Paisley shaped ditch outlined in rock

Since we get flash flooding, I was  going to dig a drainage pond (really just a big ditch filled with large smooth river rocks)  to wick the water away from the studio door.

Then the idea escalated.

The more I thought about it the more I decided my real goal was to look out onto beauty instead of just gravel.

I spent about three weeks working on this project. I brought rocks back from the arrollo on my daily walks with the dogs until I had enough to make a flower bed to break the straight line of the one we had.

I got a new crepe myrtle for the corner. Lilac colored flowers. Well, once it bloomed I discovered that the flowers were  more pink than lilac. In fact they were the very same color as our ‘volunteer’ Desert willow that came up last year near where we planted the new tree.

Inspecting the new tree

Of course before I could proceed our dog, Simon,  and the turtles (we have almost 20 now) had to pass inspection. They’re always curious, especially the turtles, who came out daily to see what the changes were.

Laying flagstone and finishing the flower bed. Simon decided to see if the plants were comfy.
Laying flagstone and finishing the flower bed. Simon decided to see if the new plants were comfy.

I cleared the gravel and prepared the space for the contractor to lay the flagstone which looked great. I planned it to be a surprise for Dean who was away at the time taking photos at the International Baha’i convention in Haifa, Israel. Unfortunately it wasn’t quite finished before he got home.

The finished patio
The finished patio

Here’s how it looked when it was first done

How it looks today.
How it looks today.

And now I have a great view from the studio window for which I’m very thankful. Dean liked it so much that he decided to extend our back porch in flagstone as well.

Back patio
Back patio

3 Comment

  1. Stephen Gouthro says:

    Looks great! It’s sure to provide added inspiration to your work.

    Like the dogs and the turtles, I want to do a personal inspection!

    1. Jean Wilkey says:

      Well I hope you do! And bring Ann along why don’tcha

  2. […] So I decided to create a patio that would enable me to use the side entrance and make it more attractive for people to visit my studio. A big plus is people would no longer have to come through the kitchen or laundry area. You can see the details of the patio construction and before and after pics in my Tuscan patio post. […]

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