Sabino Canyon – Fall 2015 KDZ Designs

We recently spent a week in Tucson, Arizona, visiting friends.  While I’ve been to California and New Mexico, I was not familiar with the Sonoran Desert and was thrilled to visit the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, as well as Tohono Chul Park and Sabino Canyon, all in Tucson!

Nature is always a great inspiration for an interior designer;  taking in the colors, textures and sounds of the landscape of the Southwest was inspiring!  The saguaro cactus is perhaps the most recognized plant of the Sonoran Desert:

These plants are large, tree-like columnar cacti that develop branches (or arms) as they age, although some never grow arms. These arms generally bend upward and can number over 25. Saguaros are covered with protective spines, white flowers in the late spring, and red fruit in summer. With the right growing conditions, it is estimated that saguaros can live to be as much as 150-200 years old. (From the Saguaro Fact Sheet on the desert site.)


Saguaro Cactus -


Saguaro Cactus Flowers


Saguaro Cactus in Sabino Canyon KDZ Designs

The contrast of the deciduous foliage, turning in the fall, with the green of the cactus and the blue of the sky is a decidedly non-New England event!

Sabino Canyon Fall 2015 KDZ Designs


At Tohono Chul Park, they had a variety of gardens to walk through, some more “built” than others…some with sculptures.  Lovely textures, shapes and colors – rock, plant, etc.

“Horse” reclaimed metal sculpture by Kioko Mwitiki




Tohono Chul Park – Exterior Terrace and Stair – Fall 2015 – KDZ Designs


Tohono Chul Park – Tile Detail from Terrace – Fall 2015 – KDZ Designs


Tohono Chul Park – Agave – KDZ Designs


Tohono Chul Park – the center of a Saguaro cactus – KDZ Designs


Tohono Chul park – The exterior of a Saquaro cactus – close-up – KDZ Designs


Tohono Chul Park – Azurite and Malachite on display – Fall 2015 – KDZ Designs

We also visited the San Xavier Del Bac Mission, a lovely building!  The mission has a Moorish facade, with Spanish and Native American influence.  From the web-site

A National Historic Landmark, San Xavier Mission was founded as a Catholic mission by Father Eusebio Kino in 1692. Construction of the current church began in 1783 and was completed in 1797. The oldest intact European structure in Arizona, the church’s interior is filled with marvelous original statuary and mural paintings. 

Photo by Jim Griffith


San Xavier Mission – Fall 2015 – KDZ Designs


Ssn Xavier Mission – interior Front Altar -


San Xavier – Door flanked by frescoes – Fall l2015 – KDZ Designs


San Xavier Mission – Wooden Shelf over Frescoes – Fall 2015 – KDZ Designs


San Xavier Mission – Mortuary Chapel – Fall 2015 – KDZ Designs


San Xavier Mission – Mortuary Chapel Entrance Gate – Fall 2015 – KDZ Designs