Creating An Oasis










Creating An Oasis
For most of the year, Tucson is perfect for spending time in our yards. Local landscape designers can help you make the most of yours.

Photos by Matt Vacca - Styling by Francine Smith

Landscape Designer Kathryn Prideaux worked with homeowners on a multi-functional outdoor living space. The overall concept included desert gardens, pool, spa, fire pit, outdoor kitchen, ramada, and patios.  

The goal was to create a total outdoor experience to complement the architecture of the home. The large steel ramada was treated with a coating of electrostatic paint that mimics rusted metal. This outdoor dining area includes an outdoor kitchen with views of the fire pit and pool and spa beyond. A walkway of large raised stepping stones separates the pool and spa.

The homeowners are retirees who owned a plant nursery. As avid plant collectors, they wanted to include unique specimens in the overall design. A series of sleek containers in rust tones contain sculptural plants, adding a graphic element. Desert plants such as agave and pedilanthus, hesperaloe, Mexican fence post cacti and ocotillo were chosen for this low-maintenance garden.

Arranging them in linear, repeating patterns adds to the modern appeal.  

The homeowners enlisted the expertise of landscape designer Kathryn Prideaux to transform an empty desert space into the perfect year-round outdoor living oasis.

The result is an interconnected space for entertaining where friends and family can cook, swim and socialize. A redwood-slatted ramada adjacent to the pool area includes a large outdoor kitchen, dining and living area.

The kitchen includes a refrigerator and built-in gas grill and is accented by colorful tiles and a wall of woven rusted metal. Concrete pavers surrounded by black river rock create an outdoor “rug” underneath the dining table. The cozy living room features a massive fireplace and TV creatively hidden behind wooden barn doors. Black-and-white concrete tiles provide a graphic pop, as do the pillows atop the red-cushioned wicker lounge furniture.

The lagoon-style pool and spa are situated to maximize the Santa Catalina Mountains vista. Bright red lounge chairs are the highlight of the wet-deck design. Three steps decorated with the same colorful tiles lead to the pool and spa, creating a raised landing.

Turf elements with ribbons of Bermuda grass are creatively irrigated with an underground system.

Elizabeth Przygoda-Montgomery of Boxhill Design created this landscape with multiple areas for out door living and entertaining.

This true oasis draws design elements from Morocco and the Mediterranean, such as a ramada and accents of wrought iron, tile and pottery.

A wrought-iron gate marks the entrance to the area and divides the garden from the open desert beyond. The shade structure was made with cantera columns and salvaged wood beams, and offers a welcome shady retreat by the pool. Large pots filled with agaves and aloes are colorful adornments.

The original pool was remodeled into a new rectangular shape and lined with imported hand-painted tile. The new spa features a copper fountain.

A U-shaped outdoor kitchen with bar seating is custom-designed for outdoor entertaining. Cobalt tiles and antique doors add to the Moroccan charm.

A separate area is designed as an evening destination, with a tile-embellished fire pit. HG



Landscape Designer: Elizabeth Przygoda-Montgomery, APLD, Boxhill Landscape, and
Tile: Artesana Tile,
Landscape Construction: Landscapes by Turf Tek, LLC,
(520) 888-6777
Antique Doors: Colonial Frontiers,
Wrought-Iron Gates: Doug Thompson Studios, (520) 881-3131
Designer: Kathryn Prideaux, APLD, Allied ASID, Prideaux Design,
Interior and Landscape Designer: Kathryn Prideaux, APLD, Allied ASID, Prideaux Design,
Pool and Landscape Contractor: Cimarron Circle Construction Company,