Place to Rest

With a little extra budget and thought, any landscape can become a garden to pause within.

That’s part of why various state transportation departments landscape their freeways. When there’s congestion, drivers have ample opportunity to stop – all 8 lanes – and experience a garden.

So do hospital visitors – photos from 10/9/17.

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As the mesquite tree and plantings mature, they will provide quite the pleasant spot seated on either concrete seat wall, to pause and take in the grand view from mountains to valley.

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On the other side of the building, seat walls provide architectural definition to the blue site tables and planters with New Mexico Olive trees.

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This was a challenging project from a time standpoint, and I hope those driving the schedule can re-evaluate this, instead of figure out how to construct something of this scale as fast or faster next time!

I’m always in awe of watching a general contractor and subs of this quality put it all together with normal time frames. Two highly-seasoned superintendents told me they have never been involved with or even heard of such a project scale going in nearly this fast.

Thanks, Robins & Morton, and notably on my work, Joe Aguilar and Accent Landscape Contractors.

Their efficiency and support are why small details became reality, such as site furnishings and hardscape accents. Those features benefit each space, though not required by the city.

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Back to the front of the hospital, these seat walls are located at a future Sun Metro bus stop, or a place to sit while waiting on your ride.

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Or to just take photos for your blog or portfolio.

This being a windy area of town, the Bull Muhly grasses usually sway back and forth. No matter the hardscape and site furnishings, appropriate plantings are a must.

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11/12/17 weather: 76 / 45 / 0.00

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Looking In and Out

Driving home, I took an hour to tour the Transmountain Hospital landscape I designed in El Paso. It was actually daylight.

Looking towards the ER entrance, I was disappointed about not being able to utilize passive water harvesting to benefit these plants.

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The simple pattern of Muhlenbergia emersleyi ‘El Toro’ and young Acacia farnesiana in a part-curve compliments the Leucophyllum langmaniae ‘Rio Bravo’.

The lone Yucca rostrata stands as a focal point, swallowed by the swirl of grasses.

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The same scene, but looking out of the ER portico and far into the badlands along the US-Mexico border.

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Morning Gold

The light often does something unusual, and sometimes the difference are grand or subtle. Photos from early October 2017.

Take this adobe wall and concrete cap at La Mansana / The Block in Marfa TX.

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A leafy tree branch affects an otherwise bright wall.

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Time of day affects the light, but even 2 hours after sunrise versus 2 hours before sunset are often quite different. Those would seem similar sun angles, but perhaps morning light has less dust while afternoon light comes at a warmer time?

The change in seasons over a couple months can also affect light, and so can traveling from a humid to a dry place or changing elevation.

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The other side of the “Artillery Sheds” have a similar light, though they face the sun directly and it’s over 30 minutes later; there’s more gold than orange. Since my first sunrise visit, I’ve been addicted to this time of day here.

Yes – we were allowed to take photos outside.

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Bouteloua gracilis grows lush and happy in Marfa’s plateau, holding it’s green with the past monsoon season.

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There’s something about the contrast between soft morning light, the warm glow of concrete, and the cool glow of mill aluminum. Its sum promises an entire day ahead, completely free of toxicity.

The wide Trans Pecos skies don’t hurt, either.

I’m convinced the drudgery of everyday is not reality; this type of thing is reality. We must get real more.

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Texas’ state grass, Bouteloua curtipendula, is as stunning as the aforementioned Blue Grama, holding down the vignettes of Celtis reticulata L and Prosopis torreyana R.

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A closer view, using the above order.

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This is the late morning light on Pinto Canyon Road outside town, facing Cathedral Mountain to the east.

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Light only held a passing interest to me until I started photographing my own landscape designs and scenery much more.

Do you see different ways one can use or take advantage of light?

Do you see differences in light from where you are to where I was in this post?

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11/5/17 weather: 7847 / 0.00