Our Houzz: New Mexico Oasis Expands Horizons for 2 Generations

As a kid, Cindy Thomas dreamed of one day owning a house with a yard. She had always lived in apartments with her mother, Francine Pisani, who was diagnosed with schizophrenia soon after Cindy was born. “I really can’t imagine what that must have been like for her,” Cindy says. “She worked really hard for not very much, but we always had what we needed. We didn’t have a lot, and consequently we never had a house.” But Cindy kept dreaming.

Years later, Cindy and her husband, David, realized part of her dream when they built a custom home in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They also created an attached one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit for her mom so they could all live together. Once settled, they turned their attention to the bare backyard in hopes of creating a healing garden for themselves and Pisani. “There was nothing there but dirt and weeds and a fence,” Cindy says.