Apache Landscape

Apache Landscape Southwest Nursery
By Bradley Marschke
2016 Best Of

1700 Old West Hwy
Apache Junction, Az 85119

The American southwest is a land of beauty, or as they say in New Mexico, enchantment. It is host to plant life not found anywhere else in the world, and culture that is second to none. From the steppe environment of California to the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, all the way to the rolling plains of west Texas, people come from all over the world not just to visit, but also to dwell.

If you look in the east valley of Phoenix metro, in the shadows of the Superstitions, you will find an example of southwest culture at its finest. Kristine “Kris” Embach is the owner of Apache Landscape Center. For over 20 years Kris has been putting her love of this beautiful land to work, not by changing the desert landscape to something it isn’t, but by utilizing it and bringing out its true beauty for customers all around.

A young, single valley mother, 26 years ago Kris found herself at a crossroads. She did not have much, but what she did have was passion, determination, two and a half acres of cacti covered land in Apache Junction, and a friend in the cactus business. Before long Kris had learned how to be business oriented in the plant/landscape industry and became known as “Kactus Kris, Inc.” She purchased an old pickup truck and through a lot of hard work, began making a name for herself.
Soon Kris was growing her own cacti while also buying wholesale from growers in Tucson and parts of California. She was eventually able to purchase a larger, nicer pickup truck, and with her sidekicks and legal permits, began harvesting native cacti from the deserts of Arizona, Nevada, and Texas. In 1998 Kris became 100% official and obtained her landscape contractors license. For two years she worked out of her property installing residential landscapes until eventually the opportunity arose for her to purchase a larger lot on the Old West Highway in Apache Junction. Apache Landscape Center was officially on the scene.

Kris, and her partner at the time- Jeff, continued landscaping while also growing their local nursery. The nursery allowed customers to visit and actually envision their ideas while selecting the plants and stone they wanted for their personal little pieces of desert. From mighty Saguaro cacti to the stunning Ocotillo, from beautiful, ancient, natural boulders, to fine granite, Apache Landscape was quickly becoming a premier spot for all things landscaping.

After several years Kris bought Jeff’s share in the nursery and Kris’ daughter Kaia became her new partner.

Presently, Kaia operates most of the nursery, which has grown to also offer a full line of pottery, a wide assortment of collectibles, and yard art. Kris continues to manage landscape design, installation, and maintenance. Together, this mother-daughter partnership is fun, passion filled, and unstoppable. Kris and Kaia have added a wonderful outdoor pavilion, which is host to a local Farm Fair on Sundays, as well as fun and helpful seminars throughout the season.
This year marks 15 years of Apache Landscape at their location. In its 15 years it has become not just a successful nursery, but also a great destination that everyone should stop and see. From crafts to trees, and rocks to landscape installs, it is all local and all southwest.

“These are great people, they have great plants that they grow themselves and they have the skill, talent, and passion…I like them a lot.” – actual online review.