United States of America, Arizona, Maricopa, Paradise Valley
Harold Garden (Paradise Valley, Arizona)
circa 1960, circa 1990, 1992, 2014
Native rocks, gravel and cacti and a contemporary block style house with some floor to ceiling windows, a view of Camelback Mountain, and a decade of living in Japan inspired the owner to create a Japanese style garden in the American desert. A source of water on the property was channeled into a small pond, with the water cascading over rocks. Other native trees and shrubs were shaped according to bonsai principles and groups of columnar cacti add focal points to the design. The property comprises three acres and in addition to cactus has native pine trees, mesquite, ironwood, myrtle and bougainvillea, which along with the red-dyed concrete indoor-outdoor floor adds color. Brittle bush, agave and morea are lower growing elements planted around the fountain within the walled entry and around the pond. A small walled Japanese garden outside a wing added to the house features a massive boulder; other Japanese ornaments include lanterns and a gong that substitutes for a doorbell.
The original architect of the house Blaine Drake (1911-1993) studied with Frank Lloyd Wright at the Taliesin West School of Architecture. From the Harold Garden there is a clear view of the praying monk red sandstone formation on Camelback Mountain.
Persons associated with the garden include: Mr. and Mrs. John F. Connor (former owners, 1954-1957); Blaine Drake (1911-1993) (architect, 1957); Paul Matsusaki (gardener, 1958-1968); Thomas Park (bonsai gardener).
The folder includes worksheets and additional images.