As a professional garden designer, I’m almost always designing gardens for someone other than myself, so back in 2004, when my wife and I when I bought a studio space for my business with a blank slate garden, I was pretty excited. Well, of course it took me 5 years to get going on it. Typical cobbler with shoeless kids story. But, there was a silver lining: having unfettered creative control is, well, awesome! I designed the space a half-dozen times because it was so much fun. But finally, I was time to build. My studio space, exactly one block from my house, is like a jewel box packed with my favorite dwarf agave, cactus, succulents, shrubs, and desert trees. Intimate seating areas and innovative steel trellises lend a clean, modern architectural feel to this garden located in Tucson’s community of Civano, an environmentally friendly development.

Because the space is small, we use vines, hanging planters, and other elements to make room for plants. The space houses more than 125 species. In early spring, South African bulbs, miniature irises, and desert blue bells begin blooming. Then late summer to fall, another flush of color occurs when plants attuned to monsoon rains do their thing.

Below is a partial plant list:


  1. Acacia willardiana
  2. Agave arizonica
  3. Agave celsii
  4. Agave lophantha ‘Quadricolor’
  5. Agave parrasana
  6. Agave parryi ‘Creme Spike’
  7. Agave pototorum ‘Oaxacan Ridgeback’
  8. Agave x ‘Blue Glow’
  9. Agave schidigera ‘Black Widow’
  10. Agave schidigera ‘Shira Ito No Ohi’
  11. Agave toumeyana ‘bella’
  12. Agave victoria-reginae
  13. Aloe vacilins
  14. Ariocarpus retusus var. furfuraceous
  15. Astrophytum asterias ‘Super Kabuto’
  16. Astrophytum capricorne
  17. Astrophytum myriostigma
  18. Astrophytum myriostigma ‘Onzuka’
  19. Astrophytum oratum var. mirabelli
  20. Bouteloua gracilis ‘Blonde Ambition’
  21. Bulbine frutescens ‘Tiny Tangerine’
  22. Bursera microphylla
  23. Carex divulsa
  24. Cercis mexicana
  25. Cercocarpus intricatus
  26. Ceropegia woodii
  27. Cissus incisa
  28. Cissus trifoliata
  29. Cooperia drummondii
  30. Dalea capitata
  31. Dichondra ‘Silver Falls’
  32. Echeveria agavoides
  33. Echeveria chroma
  34. Echeveria minima
  35. Echeveria x ‘Black Prince’
  36. Echeveria x ‘Perle von Nurnberg’
  37. Echeveria runyonii ‘Topsy Turvy’
  38. Echinocactus horizonthalonius
  39. Echinocereus longisetus ssp. delaetii
  40. Echinocereus morricalii
  41. Echinocereus rayonensis
  42. Echinocereus reichenbachii v. baileyii
  43. Echinocereus rigidissimus
  44. Enceliopsis covillei
  45. Euphorbia antisypilitica
  46. Euphorbia horrida ‘Snowflake’
  47. Euphorbia mamillaris variegata
  48. Euphorbia xantii
  49. Escobaria vivipara var. bisbeeana
  50. Faucaria tigrina
  51. Ferocactus chrysacanthus
  52. Ferocactus latispinus
  53. Ferocactus pilosus
  54. Fouquieria macdougallii
  55. Gaillardia ‘Arizona Apricot’
  56. Gasteria excelsa
  57. Gasteraloe ‘Green Ice’
  58. Graptoveria ‘Opalina’ (Grapto. amethstinum x Ech. colorata)
  59. Haworthia truncata
  60. Hesperaloe funifera
  61. Hesperaloe parviflora ‘Brakelights’
  62. Jatropha cardiophylla
  63. Justicia sonorae
  64. Leuchtenbergia principis
  65. Mammillaria canelensis
  66. Mammillaria hahniana
  67. Mammillaria pettersonii
  68. Mammillaria standleyi
  69. Mammillaria spinosissima
  70. Manfreda longiflora
  71. Manfreda maculosa
  72. Mascagnia macroptera
  73. Maurandya barclayana
  74. Muhlenbergia x ‘Pink Flamingo’
  75. Nolina matapensis
  76. Nolina texana
  77. Opuntia basilaris ‘Chocolate Bunny’
  78. Pacyveria ‘Powder Puff’
  79. Pachyveria ‘Royal Flush’
  80. Pedilanthus macrocarpus
  81. Pedilanthus species, dwarf form from Baja
  82. Penstemon parryi
  83. Penstemon x ‘Red-headed Beauty’
  84. Poliomintha longiflora
  85. Poliomintha maderensis
  86. Plumbago scandens
  87. Prosopis chilensis
  88. Salvia farinacea ‘Texas Violet’
  89. Salvia mohavensis
  90. Salvia ‘Ultra Violet’ PPAF # 21411
  91. Sedeveria hybrid ‘Blue Elf’
  92. Sedum morganianum
  93. Senna purpusii
  94. Scutellaria sp. (N. of Galeana ?)
  95. Scutellaria suffrutescens
  96. Scutellaria x ‘Violet Cloud’
  97. Senecio rowleyanus
  98. Tecoma x ‘Sparky’
  99. Teucrium aroianum
  100. Thelocactus  bicolor

101. Thelocactus bicolor ssp. flavidispinus

102. Thelocactus macdowellii

103. Trachelospermum jasminoides

104. Tradescantia brevefolia

105. Tradescantia pallida

106. Tradescantia silamontana

107. Vernonia lindheimeri v. leucophylla

108. Yucca endlichiana

109. Yucca linearifolia

110. Yucca pallida

111. Yucca rostrata

112. Zinnia grandiflora