Photograph of an adobe house with a small chimney and a ladder leaning against it bathed in sunlight. In the foreground is a lush green garden with a tree on the right and some red flowers on the left.


Georgia O'Keeffe

Exploring Georgia O’Keeffe’s Garden

October 12, 2023

When Georgia O’Keeffe purchased her second New Mexico home in Abiquiú, she was particularly drawn to the property for its large garden, served by the local irrigation system called an acequia. In collaboration with her friend, Maria Chabot, who oversaw the initial restoration of the house and grounds, O’Keeffe created an extensive garden filled with native and shrubs trees, fruit trees, and a variety of vegetables and herbs. In the flower garden, the original rose bushes, yellow lilies, lavender crocus, purple lilacs, jasmine, yellow forsythia, irises, and poppies that O’Keeffe planted still bloom each year.

In this talk, we explored the evolution of the garden and grounds at the Abiquiú home—from the original landscape design to its preservation and maintenance today. O’Keeffe and Chabot thoughtfully planned these outdoor spaces to blend with local traditions and reflect the artist’s personal preferences. Watch a recording of this talk to learn more about this special place that O’Keeffe planted, tended, and enjoyed throughout her life. 

About the Speaker:

Agapita “Pita” Lopez began working for American artist Georgia O’Keeffe in late 1974 as a companion and became her personal secretary in 1978 until her death on March 6, 1986. A third-generation employee, her grandfather and mother also worked for O’Keeffe. She continued working with O’Keeffe Estate in 1986 and then for The Georgia O’Keeffe Foundation in 1989 as its secretary. Later serving as the Foundation’s Executive Director from 1999 to 2006. As the Project Director for the Abiquiú Historic Properties, she oversees the maintenance and preservation of O’Keeffe’s Abiquiú and Ghost Ranch Homes for the O’Keeffe Museum. Along with author and scholar Barbara Buhler Lynes, she co-wrote the publication, Georgia O’Keeffe and Her Houses: Abiquiú and Ghost Ranch. With her brother, Belarmino Lopez, the New Mexico Historic Preservation Division presented them with the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015.

This talk was recorded as part of our free ‘Mornings With O’Keeffe’ lecture series on the first Wednesday of every month.