A Garden’s Teen Years

A garden goes through it’s awkward teen years right after it’s terrible twos. I think that’s when everything is soon to be revealed as incredible, or to fall apart.

But that beats the fate of all too many landscapes, merely designed to live for today. It’s best to have fun and thrive for the long-term. Part of why I embrace place and local native plants from my ecoregion and elevation. That’s staying power.

Photos from Albuquerque at the 2 year old Robertson Residence, 7/18/14 -

a small space, yet eclectic among a trace of simplicity…about to fill in some more…

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A Sotol Storm

I finally took a half-hour, and drove up the hill off I-10, to revisit the Helen of Troy sotol plantings out front.

Oee cannot easily miss their amazing dance party of bloom stalks this summer. Each time I’ve driven by, they’ve teased me to stop by, but I was in a hurry. They are all Blue Sotol / Dasylirion wheeleri, planted effectively as a large mass.

Photos from the stormy, cool morning of 8/2/2014 -


spotting these stalks from below, it was destiny…

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Hot or Cold

I often hear we don’t have enough color intensity in our desert flowers.

Part of that is our high sunlight intensity, part is the flower color used (pastels get washed out most days), and part is the overall landscape design (not enough contrast). And some of those are not desert flowers – an adobe wall does not make a Monet planting into the bold desert! All easily cured.

Photos 7/18/2014, at two of my 2012 Albuquerque West Mesa designs -

yellows are often dismissed, like Dahlberg Daisy in this pair of containers…

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Seaside Spikes

I like how San Diego works to warm you up in the winter, then cool you down in the summer. My plan was to do that this summer, but…

Don’t believe me? Check out all the license plates from Arizona and other hot areas on summer weekends, followed by all of the Canadian and northern license plates all winter. But one of us is checking out the interesting plants thriving all year.

Photos from 1/2014 -


Sunset zone 23 / USDA zone 10b – Mediterranean Fan Palm / Chamaerops humilis…those lush, green palms…

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Dwarf Trees Shrinking Spaces

I finally took photos of some plants I’ve eyeballed to and fro some projects and my Saturday morning breakfast taco haunt!

To those without their desert eyes on, they are just shrubs. From 7/31/14 -

Chisos Rosewood / Vauquelinia corymbosa var. angustifolia

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