Hospital: Daytime This Time

A coworker has accompanied me every few weeks to bustling El Paso, so I can take care of some wrap-up work.

Combined with barbecue at 2 restaurants, dinner time trips caused too many late arrivals here to see much. This time was a morning trip to close out bank accounts, so I finally saw my work in daylight.

Without overplanting, this new landscape is thin. Some looks good…

SPWMC-Front01_2017-05-13-SML

…some other plants and many grasses not so good, the daytime arrival under a scorching May sun revealed the brown, bad news.

And poorly-placed signage added to a few changes. Striping seems less obtrusive, until the owner implements their wayfinding consultant’s excellent signage

SPWMC-Drop01_2017-05-13-SML

Out the canopy-shaded walkway to the front doors, the Salvia clevelandii are already growing in to soften the Yucca rostrata.

SPWMC-CurtainWall02_2017-05-13-SML

So Cal: meet the Texas Big Bend. This side was barely interesting to me originally.

SPWMC-CurtainWall01_2017-05-13-SML

It now may be my favorite spot there; the curtain wall effect with the simple yucca and shrub grouping is better than I envisioned.

SPWMC-Drop02_2017-05-13-SML

Oh yeah, Hueco boulders and yuccas. Or, I need to branch out more from using scenes from desert hikes and mountain biking.

Finally, I’m including my plant lists…

PlantList-SPWMC1

PlantList-SPWMC2

The clouds are mostly where I had to change some symbols that my CAD program didn’t generate at the correct size.

Salvia clevelandii again –

SPWMC-Front02a_2017-05-13-SML

SPWMC-Front02b_2017-05-13-SML

The break patio, some more concrete seat walls. And after the monsoon season, time to prune up the Forestiera neomexicana.

SPWMC-BreakE01_2017-05-13-SML

The mostly unoccupied medical office building (MOB) has this great razor-like entry canopy.

SPWMC-MOB01_2017-05-13-SML

It’s flanked on either side by a spare but purposed green ribbon between a tree grove for shade…Prosopis glandulosa trees and Baccharis x starn groundcovers.

And a rhythm of Dasylirion wheeleri of course, every 12 feet or so.

The bump-outs use many Hueco boulders filled in with spikier or flowering desert plants: Agave parryi ‘Estrella’, Chrysactinia mexicana, Fouquieria splendens, and Dasylirion wheeleri included.

SPWMC-MOB02_2017-05-13-SML

And out via the service road, with a swale and Sporobulus wrightii along it. Plus Larrea tridentata, Fouquieria splendens, an Agave lechuguilla beyond the swale, to tie in with the desert background.

SPWMC-SSvcDr01_2017-05-13-SML

The blank area between the grasses and curb is an 8 foot wide, future walking path. I prefer compacted, small crushed gravel – I’m sure the owner will do pricier concrete.

I’m showing some of the good parts; I’ll try and follow up sometime with some odd plant issues I saw driving onto the project.

5/16/17 weather: 76 / 55 / T

Prepare for a Yucca Explosion

With all our moisture until spring set in to scorch it all, our local yuccas seemed primed to go into full bloom. That they did.

My first year in this house, I only pruned a few of the huge, dead flower stalks off, without a truck to haul them to the dump and also enjoying the interest of “dry arrangements”.

This year, seeing all the new flower stalks forming, I cut off all the old stalks so the better blooming year could shine and knowing I would find a way to haul.

DSCN8737-SML

The large, dead stalks are bold to look at, plus some smaller birds perch on them.

Of course, birds have plenty nearby to perch on. For a garden to look better in less than geologic time, we can do simple, beneficial maintenance practices.

I’m finished with some Yucca elata clumps, their dead stalks bundled.

DSCN8740-SML

One of many vigorous flower stalks that will soon shine.

DSCN8741-SML

All done, looking back to the N.

DSCN8797-SML

DSCN8802-SML

I’ve met some hobbyists, a couple architects, and others, all with a belief system that won’t grasp maintenance and pruning. Yet the same often switch and then regard gardens whose staff knows what, why, when, and how.

Have you met any people like that?

Now, to pull all those weeds and mooch kindly ask to borrow someone’s truck for a delivery to the dump!

5/15/17 weather: 88 / 53 / .00

Civic Space 101: Filling In at JUTEP

That’s actually UTEP for “the University of Texas at El Paso”, but this region’s “border Spanish” makes “U” and “Y” have a noticeable “J” sound. I may have heard “jucca” said as much as “yucca” during 2+ decades at this region’s jobsites.

Our area’s largest showcase of native plants in a public garden is at year 3. That age often marks when a garden gets much better.

By Ten Eyck’s office, visited by me last weekend:

DSCN8764-SML

Without several hours to spend, I try to start in a different place depending on the lighting – this was late afternoon.

The clean, walkable, and permeable groundplane of decomposed granite isn’t kitchen floor enough for some, but it has multiple benefits. Sound of footsteps included.

An excellent massing of plants and hardscape to take it all in.

DSCN8766-SML

Those are Hesperaloe x ‘Pink Parade’, a hybrid of old, massive favorite H. funifera and more common H. parviflora. Agave ovatifolia is in the background, seeming to float on the aggregate.

Onto one of my favorite accent plants, with those tall, almost comical bloom stalks – Yucca pallida.

DSCN8767-SML

Looking the other way, away from the dinner theatre, below R is a mass of H. parviflora ‘Brakelights’.

DSCN8770-SML

Fallugia paradoxa are overgrowing the yuccas; not sure that was the intent, so I asked Ten Eyck herself a couple years ago on a conference wrap-up visit.

DSCN8771-SML

A sunken placita (mini-plaza) with Nolina greenei under the young trees, as retaining seat walls take advantage of the grade change.

DSCN8772-SML

Do those pricey Kornegay pots look worth it, like they do to me? Of course, it helps using hardy, effective Dasylirion quadrangulatum inside them.

DSCN8777-SML

And on the other entry of the same Psychology building, these steps.

DSCN8786-SML

More Dasylirion quandrangulatum in the planters along the stairs, plus other native and adapted plantings. Something like that at NMSU and especially UNM would completely overcome past ways.

A low area with water harvesting below one of many outcroppings of andesite rock, and voila – Gaura lindheimeri.

DSCN8779-SML

DSCN8782-SML

Closing out with series of seat walls, providing a layering effect going downhill.

DSCN8788-SML

 

DSCN8789-SML

More vigorous Apache Plume taking over.

DSCN8791-SML

A hike a few days later showed my sentimental favorite cactus, Opuntia engelmannii, in bloom.

IMG_6571-SML

A number of Echinocactus horizonthalonius were blooming, too.

IMG_6577-SML

Have a good rest of the weekend!

IMG_6585-SML

5/13/17 weather: 91 / 64 / .00