Gardens at La Posada Hotel
Mary Colter’s original 1930 design for La Posada included plans not only for the hotel building but also for 12 acres of gardens based on sustainable desert plant communities. Unfortunately, these plans were never implemented because the Santa Fe Railway faced major budgetary constraints in the years following the Great Depression. By the 1980s, La Posada’s gardens had fallen into total disrepair.
We started restoring La Posada in 1997 and the gardens have been under continuous improvement since then. The Sunken Garden has been restored, and the Rose and Potager Gardens are thriving on the north side. The Cottonwood Grove has been stabilized and new trees have been planted. The South Lawns are healthy and new walkways and a straw bale maze has been added. To the east, another 5 acres of gardens and a vineyard are planned to surround the Depot and the Turquoise Room restaurant is scheduled to expand into the gardens with patio seating. Construction of these gardens will start in 2012. Colter’s vision of an oasis in the desert has finally been realized. With careful management, La Posada’s gardens will continue to grow and mature for decades to come.