Batter Up!

A few years ago, an Architect client contacted me with a ballfield and landscape design needed. Somehow, I ended up working for the Civil Engineer… On the side of a mountain’s bajada, this was quite a challenge.

Of course, the project was rushed, with multiple site concerns not addressed. You gotta loathe love the wild west!

As grading work and time progressed, there was no need for the rush – the landscape work was postponed for months. The real need besides the land being the client, is to provide ample time to initially think through all issues of developing any site, let alone one with plant salvage opportunities, unusual configurations and steep slopes.

Here’s what we’ve got as of 9/19/2013 –

only tough native plants used, most somehow escaping the rabbit hordes  (Chinquapin Oak, ‘Rio Bravo’ Texas Ranger, Beargrass, Chocolate Flower)…rock cover where budget allowed

slopes conducive to mountaineering more than baseball and softball…massive erosion every summer monsoon season…the slopes were planted by a contractor / biologist / nursery owner friend, after he salvaged some Ocotillo, Lechuguilla, Torrey Yucca & some Rainbow Cactus, also rushed…some washed out
So, play ball! (yes, the infield surface is in need of some grooming)
Play ball! Infield surfaces need grooming, Bermudagrass now watered and green, and my over-design for irrigation coverage in wind is working!!
a dead Live Oak…most other trees and plants from nursery stock are looking good (Desert Willow, Red Yucca, etc.)…the big silver box houses a huge pump, to bring water uphill 100’+, to grow ballfields and city-required landscaping…..
but looking good, few dead plants...and you know there isn't the maintenance programmed in, even an uber-low-maintenance design I do still requires
looking good, few dead plants…boulders arranged to look good and allow climbing or sitting by bored kids and adults alike
the tough do survive and thrive…can you smell it this cool, windy morning?
Chocolate Flower, still open after 9 am...gotta love the monsoon season, but where's the bar of Ghirardelli's?
Chocolate Flower, still open after 9 am…only need a bar of Ghirardelli’s…and volunteers of probably Threadleaf Groundsel
the other Live Oak and Beargrass mass are fine, the turf fields OK (but did I forget to depress that planting bed, with all the what little time I had?)…and more erosion, worth posting on in the future

4 Replies to “Batter Up!”

  1. That looks super pleasing…I especially like the fun the rocks bring to the table for younger siblings! In this scene…I love the grass for the sportsfield! Looks great and what a pleasure for desert-folk to play on and roll around. So…what are y’all gonna do about the erosion….I hope you do a post on that. So curious! On a steep slope highway side here I saw these bag things all the way up….like long sandbags. …maybe…hmmmm a couple feet in-between every row of these bag they planted with texas sage, sotol and mountain laurel DENSELY….now like…hmmmm…..3 years later, maybe 4…..looks amazing. You can’t see the steep slope at all….. I wonder however, are the bags temporary? Is the erosion taken care of now because is it planted so thick? or do they keep them there forever?

    Thanks, maybe if I go back with my real camera this spring, I ‘ll feel better. But a follow-up is in order, on how to handle erosion and various issues better for this (ideally w/ a time machine) and future projects (as much of a dream). The boulders and etc plants must be cool to hang out in as a kid!

    Your project is interesting; my guess – the bags bio-degrade as the planting matures, and they thought it out for heavy plant cover in the whole area?


    1. I’ll try to take a picture and e-mail it to ya – I cannot get out of my car at this location though…or I’ll get smoked!

      Be safe, have someone take the pic while you drive!


  2. Looks good. I would be very happy to have my kids playing ball here. And climbing on the rocks, picking the flowers, etc. ;)

    You’re right, I need to see the glass half-full, especially since it smells like chocolate!


  3. Happy desires. Baseball field + plants. If client had a clue , then no jobs for us !!!!

    Love the quirky emergencies we get called to ‘fix’.

    Garden Be Well, XO T

    Except clueless often does not = fees and more paying work to fix it later. Unsure what I gained though I salvaged what I could…


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