Clasped between Saguaro National Park and the Ironwood Preserve, Double R Ranch appears as though it were plucked straight from the frames of an old Western movie. The windswept grounds stand as a gateway to the thousands of untouched acres that quietly stitch together the Northwest side of Tucson. The ranch gives visitors a chance to explore that land with horseback rides and birthday parties. It also offers weekend getaways and RV hookups to city-dwellers in need of an escape from the crowds and door-to-door minivan salesmen that come with urban living. Double R also accommodates guests who have their own horses with overnight stabling services.
The landscape architects and gardeners at Kingston Nurseries have a passion for creating crisp outdoor designs. Randall Wieting––one of the nursery's principal horticulturists––boasts more than 30 years of experience in the designing and building of landscapes, and works to meld mass, scale, color, line, shape, contrast, rhythm, and texture into each unique outdoor space. The garden center provides helpful advice for home gardeners looking to stock up on greenery or inquire about the latest new plant species available for purchase. Still, staff members can't help but exercise their design muscles daily, so they also invite customers to bring in their home containers, then draft seasonal green displays to suit any budget or occasion.
The staff members at Salmon Creek Nursery know plants. Much of the vast inventory of annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees are grown onsite at the 45-year-old family-owned nursery, allowing the staff to make sure each plant is healthy from the time it sprouts to the day it's adopted into a new garden. When not tending to the needs of trees, on-staff landscapers are ready and waiting to help customers to create their own inspiring outdoor spaces, filling up backyards or spare bathtubs with all manner of flora. Walking through the lush, meticulously tended nursery feels like strolling through a park. A footbridge carries visitors past a diminutive waterfall, and Japanese maples and fruit trees admire their reflections and elegant limbs in a wide, still pond. The view is decidedly more rustic inside the garden center, where lanterns, baskets, and wooden chairs hang suspended from tree trunks that reach toward the roof, and vintage wheelbarrows teem with everything from plants and potting soil to garden stones etched with inspirational messages.