Skyline Stunners

I need to watch that I don’t get sucked into the vortex of plant trendiness.

Take these classic xeric plants – used long before the first microbus opened it’s hatch, letting out those homesick for the eastern meadows of their youth, or where the latest high mountain commune was a bad trip. Their legacy is to disdain design principles, hedges, roses or lawns, more than it is to embrace place, or heaven forbid, bold and classic plants that like it!

Not me!!! The old is new, again –

something confined to older neighborhoods, the actual species Italian Cypress / Cupressus sempervirens…the UTEP president’s house

the more common cultivar (or is it selection?) of Italian Cypress / C. sempervirens ‘Stricta’…

Note the young but healthy cypresses in front in lawn, versus the straggly one far right in gravel…in drought, most plants need water here. My guess is with a low of 0-5F, this was drought damage. Put plastic under gravel, and it’s even worse…like hades + winter. Not Bella Italia:-)

…too bad winter can be inversion and smog season in the west, when you have mountains nearby…stocky California or Desert Fan Palm / Washingtonia filifera taking harsh El Paso, with Ciudad Juarez very close…making a cold day look warmer
…of course more live oaks, at the Burges house I posted on recently…
Sabal X…yellowing leaves probably nutrient-caused according to Jeff A., but all those dead fronds probably from below 0F in 2011…
…I need an ID on this palm

Of course, I wouldn’t leave out a bolder skyline accent plant.

Blue Yucca / Yucca rigida…an underused tree yucca in the desert states…even if we have plenty of blue in the sky…
like a lusher-looking Yucca rostrata, but equally Chihuahuan Desert…imagine these with the plastic under the granite fines removed, and something low underneath…possibly my cliche of grasses and Queen Victoria Agave plants, maybe some penstemons flowering against the trunks…
blue is English for azul in Spanish…which language do you prefer?
the powdery coating on gray or blue foliage plants is always fun to examine the detail of…in May and June at 4100′ elevation, plants here think it’s fun too, reflecting the burning sun…

4 Replies to “Skyline Stunners”

  1. Oh I see you are already on it. If they ever tear that wonderful plant material out I want to be there to get those great specimens

    El Chuco has an amazing assortment of old, specimen plants like that (so does Abq), but those Y. rigida are the nicest I’ve seen in far west TX, NM, AZ, and Las Vegas. I might help you, but better yet, they need the proper companion plants!


  2. Hey you have quite a blog!! I know you are shying away from speaking engagements, BUT can you do something for the El Paso sponsored Native Plant Society conference on Friday August 1st. Dont you want to show those Albuquerque pretenders how well you are doing her in El Chuco!!

    You threw me, with your shortened name. Something about “De la O”…

    And you should see the last blog of >500 posts!

    The EP NPSNM conference…just call me, e-mail me, and we’ll firm it up, I’ll come up with a title, and you got me. How’s that, Charita Garcia Lazoya Martinez de la O? It will make the posers and leader tremble, and then some. There are few places they like or will ever venture south of UNM, without their clan :-)


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