Museum Campus

Landscape and Gardens

The 2.64 acre site on Museum Hill in Santa Fe is typical of the pinyon-juniper woodland habitat. Mature Colorado pinyon (Pinus edulis) and one-seed juniper (Juniperus monosperma) dominate the landscape with understory shrubs and perennials, such as rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus), tree cholla (Cylindropuntia imbricata), soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca), prickly-pear cactus (Opuntia phaeacantha), and several grasses including blue grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis). The native woodland has been altered over time due to extensive woodcutting practices and invasive non-native species such as Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila) and Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia).

A beautiful ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) was probably planted long ago near the side of the historic house. It has created a microenvironment with the accumulation of years of shed needles on the ground underneath. During the spring through summer of 2020, the native Santa Fe phlox (Phlox nana) with bright pink flowers sprouted and thrived without any influence from staff.

Foundation plantings and gardens around the Anita Gonzales Thomas Courtyard include pyracantha, quince, rose, spyrea, and Virginia creeper.

A small Jardín de los Artistas (Artists’ Garden) was planted near the Mexican House with the assistance of the Santa Fe Garden Club and the Boy Scouts of America Troop 28. Plants with ethnobotanical importance to this region can be seen, such as madder and yarrow that are used for dyeing weaving yarns.