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Santa Fe Botanical Garden

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Located in the arid high desert, an ethnobotanical garden with a central gathering space of stone amphitheater seating, terraced plantings, and landscape-based storm water detention systems.

hornos plaza.jpg

Located on Museum Hill, Phase 2 of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden was developed as an ethnobotanical garden as a place to study and demonstrate the region’s plants and their practical uses through the traditional knowledge of local culture and people. The new 1-acre garden encompasses a central gathering space of terraced plantings and tiered stone amphitheater seating, outdoor classrooms, a baking area of hornos, contoured berms, and planting areas with overhead canopy structure by Atkin Olshin Schade Architects. The design of the garden was scaled to encourage use by children.


The garden is located within a challenging topographical condition between an arroyo (dry creek bed) and a gulley, with soils prone to erosion, and arid high desert conditions. The project addresses water flow management throughout, with stormwater detention methods including rain gardens, bioswales and a site-wide rock-lined drainage swale that feeds into a series of stepped rock-lined bowls, allowing water to slowly infiltrate into the soil. A blackwater treatment system was also designed for the proposed restroom for re-use as site irrigation. Alison Duncan provided Project Management and Construction Documents Services, including the coordination of a large team of consultants for W. Gary Smith Design.



This work was completed while consulting as Project Manager for W. Gary Smith Design

Photo Credit

Eddie Moore, Albuquerque Journal

Drawing Credit

W. Gary Smith Design

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