A large draw to this part of El Paso is being close to so much – nature or going out on the town. And a major university with some interesting plantings, including the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens.

A few weeks ago, I took an hour to walk through it with curator John White. His relaxed demeanor and knowledge are refreshing.

And when it’s only in the mid-80’s on a sunny July day here, what could be better?

‘Mexican Flame’ Acanthus / Anisacanthus quadrifidus with a well-built rock wall; other fine cultivars of this species are available

All hummingbird magnets…
Many nice spots with shade, to look out onto the garden spaces
Natives – a spray of future pink seedheads on Bush Muhley / Muhlenbergia porteri cloaking butterfly and hawk moth magnet, Sundrops / Calylophus hartwegii
Did I say butterflies?
Mist Flower / Eupatorium Conoclinium greggii. And just to upset Il Professore in Nebraska, it’s like a Sonic drive-in for butterflies…at happy hour! Mexican Hat / Ratibida columnifera behind it

This treasure is a quick several blocks to my west, I’ve posted on it on my old blog more than once, and I have many old photos to show.

While I prefer a stronger design of plants with some hardscape over a botanical collection using a few of everything (like these gardens), I choose to enjoy it for what it is. As with other art, it can be enjoyed on various levels – I may not be into a particular genre of music, but I can still enjoy the performer’s showmanship, a song’s instrumentals , and so on. I’ve become more open to specifying plants because of all that’s here, and there’s more up my sleeve as a result.

It’s definitely worth a couple hour break when passing through El Paso, and you need relief from the trucker hell that is I-10!

5 Replies to “Nearby”

  1. I want some sundrops. Those are gorgeous. As is the rest of this garden. I must confess I love masses of plants although I am trying to pare down some. You can’t really call it xeriscaping if you mass together another plants to make a “desert jungle” lol

    Sundrops do well there, I hear. Agreed…while dense plantings are good for an oasis minority of a xeriscape, that doesn’t work for the overall majority of area!


  2. Sonic? Oy.

    Glad you stopped by! Of course, the laugh’s really on me, since Sonic for butterflies would be some GMO faux-pollen fluff in a bowl, as this is the good stuff:-)”


  3. You’ve moved – home and blog – I’m just catching up! Good luck in your new location.

    Yes, thanks for finding me! Will be an adventure but on familiar territory.


  4. I almost bought a few sundrops in the spring…I wish I would have now. They are super pretty. That acanthus is ginormous!!! …and electric!

    Sundrops are tough, love limestone and heat; Acanthus is a nice, saturated red, underused!


  5. Amazing how many plants are blooming there when the same plants are dormant or bloomless in SA.

    Interesting…maybe it’s irrigation and some cool periods back in July. I’ll check to see what it’s like now.


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