Santa Fe New Mexican

Solange was featured in “Use a Pro to Improve your Landscape” on April 5, 2015 in the New Mexican’s sister publication Home.

Read the article and see photos here.

“Ludic” — a word denoting aimless playfulness — is an important one for Solange Serquis. “I like to be as playful as possible in the outdoors,” said the landscape architect who was trained in Argentina and Santa Fe. The concept came up in a discussion about one of her focus points when planning residential landscape projects. “In New Mexico the outdoor areas are amazing. In Buenos Aires it’s very hot and humid in the summer and people don’t want to be outside. But here it’s beautiful and I like doing water features with recirculated water. In my own garden I did a river feature with black stones. My kids love to play in it and adults like to put their feet in.

“Water, shade, and confluence point makes everything happen and you can sit there and enjoy. Then plants. I especially love red feathergrass. I like to use native plants so you will get butterflies and birds. If you love birds, do native plants.” Serquis, principal of Serquis & Associates Landscape Architecture, works out of her studio in the Aldea community. She completed studies in the field at the University of Buenos Aires and won a design prize for a railyard project in that city. She moved to Santa Fe and was an intern in the Design Workshop master plan process for the Santa Fe Railyard.

She met the owners of Cassidy’s Landscaping during an HGTV competition. “They asked if I’d do design for them. I learned a lot. They gave me great clients to work with. I worked under Cassidy’s on the Plazas at Pecos Trail 2005 to 2007 and also at that time I did Santa Fe Design Week; I created the exteriors at El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe.”

Serquis got her New Mexico license in landscape architecture in 2009. That year she began working with the Housing Trust at the Village Sage affordable-housing community (across from Capital High School) and from 2010 to 2012 she was on the team that developed the Luna commercial project at 505 Cerrillos Road. “We did everything, the porphyry paving, the planters, the metalwork, and the benches, working with the owners and with the architects, Wood Metal Concrete and Praxis Architects. “We are staying very busy now. One deadline coming up is for the Acequia Trail underpass.”

Another of her focus points on residential work is shelter, which is created with plants and sometimes pergolas. “I like to do water features and fire pits, because the landscape at night is very beautiful.” She may work in an edible garden planted in a horse trough.

“I love grasses with beautiful seedheads and the colorful bark on some trees for the wintertime. It’s fun to visit nurseries in the winter to see what the barks look like. Put a Wood’s rose or a red dogwood outside your favorite windows.”

What if a client wants something more like an English garden? “Well, I believe in memories. I believe in stories and memories. I love pampas grass because that’s what I grew up with.

“One client wanted to have a sod area and I said, OK, why don’t you do that in the back, but then how about in the front it’s all native with sumacs and Apache plume, sages, mountain mahogany, and chamisa? And they liked that idea.”

A final hinge-point around which a lovely and successful landscape may be designed is shape. Plants that can be wonderful specimens in a vibrant landscape include chokecherry, Washington hawthorn, New Mexico privet, and ornamental grasses.