Nursery to Jobsite

Sometimes, the project owner, architect or contractor involve me as per my contract, including on things more important than administrative paperwork. Sometimes. And rarely, like this small project for a Dion’s restaurant in the Albuquerque South Valley, they all involved me, with little initiation on my part!

Introverts shouldn’t have to initiate all the time, anyway…

Photos from Corrales and Albuquerque NM, 12/2013 –

under 4 hours to north of Abq, Desireé Sanchez showing me her nursery’s rather nice Vitex agnus-castus trees, for the front of my store design…

She was the first nursery professional I met in Albuquerque when I moved there in 1992, me working for a contractor. Desireé still looks young…I’ve aged a bit more. 

But to think of the changes I and a few others caused since ’92 – powered by conviction and backbone, not opinions and bias!

a warm day with a dark and “stormy” end…the landscape contractor’s foreman Aaron Scott & beard showing me some Populus wislizenii worth tagging for the detention basin…Desireé doing the same, about to get blown to the next county…
Muhlenbergia rigida ‘Nashville’, Agave parryi, and Nolina texana look ready for their tough job…
large spaces on slopes around the ponding areas get the evergreen workhorse, Eleagnus pungens…it gets 10’+ high and wide, now used much less…oldie but goodie…
Hesperaloe parviflora for swaths in long spaces…too bad the large, boxed Yucca elata in the distance isn’t for me, but collected specimens rarely survive transplant…boxed, rooted ones are rare, but have a better chance…
a narrow form of Juniperus scopulorum to give the restaurant some vertical, Italianate flair , since no ‘Blue Ice’ Arizona Cypress available…Chilopsis linearis grown in Phoenix hardening off for the start of winter in Abq…
more Chilopsis hardening off, as large Dasylirion wheeleri are ready for a few key spots on the dry, majority areas of the site…
another evergreen workhorse, Ericameria laricifolia, for massing…
Yucca pallida for shady areas and planters, used as a groundcover instead of as an accent, etc, etc…
traded the 1 gallon Teucrium chamaedrys ‘Prostratum’ for more of these larger, lusher 4″ pot versions…
some plantings going in the following week…here, a large Vitex agnus-castus and loads of native Sphaeralcea coccinea as a high, flowering groundcover…
sweep of Hesperaloe parviflora, punctuated by one of the Juniperus scopulorum…no drip irrigation or mulch yet…
in fact, some plants were not yet installed, waiting for the next day or two…the contractor is good and fast, but no one is that fast…
uninstalled plants go back to the contractor’s yard, lest they be stolen overnight…but all will be planted the next 1-2 days…tough enough for the Chihuahuan Desert, or piling into a truck for more driving…
and time for green chile enchiladas, then bed down for the night and the last day or two of construction observation, before returning home to El Paso…

10 Replies to “Nursery to Jobsite”

  1. That makes TOO MUCH SENSE that you were there to oversee the planting and implementation. That is going to look great when it is done-cant wait to see updates :)

    Sometimes, I get lucky! Yes – one soon, another maybe this summer?


  2. Looks like a good plan. Looking forward to seeing it complete.
    I remember you posting about the M. rigida. It looks like a good one for my grass bed. There may even be some, out in our Deer Grove. Things are coming back, out there. So, not much rooted got washed away in our flood.
    And….green chili enchiladas. Oh, my. Now I’m hungry.

    I only wish I could see it maturing, but will be worth a side trip this summer? I’ve seen M. rigida in wild in NM foothills, even in Phoenix, so worth a try! Green or red (chile)…mmm!


  3. Umm…are you describing yourself as an introvert?! That would make me, what, schizoaffective? LOL.

    Degrees of introversion, my friend! I recharge and thrive being alone, get drained with more people:-)


  4. A plant list to bookmark even though I have most of them already thanks to following your recommendations for the last few years. Mulenbergia rigida is one I haven’t seen in San Antonio. I also look forward to follow up posts as the plantings grow.

    Spent Friday at Madrone Nursery in San Marcos. Wow, he’s working on some fun new muhly grasses which should be ready later this year. Among the plants I picked up is a Y. pallida with great color and Nolina la Siberica.

    Ha ha – glad to be a culprit! M. rigida was noted on my Las Cruces streetscape post – young and at maturity.

    I need to actually write more plant lists, for posts and a blog page. Could be interesting to compare, and I’m good at lists – I’ve made many that only I’ve seen! Sounds like a fruitful trip to Madrone N.


  5. Loved looking over your shoulder at the nursery and reading your comments on each plant. Hope you’ll post photos of the finished product!

    Hi, stranger! I fear you/Denny have moved before I got to say bye to your house in the hills! Will do.


  6. I wish I would have known you did this landscape. I just ate there with a friend last week. I would have paid a little more attention, but do remember thinking I was surprised to see some of the plants that were used there.

    That’s the one I showed you the development’s prohibitive plant list, that doesn’t allow Bouteloua, Sporobulus, and other notable natives…by you-know-who. We’ll have to talk more on it!


  7. Nice choices! I am especially loving that juniper! And the hesperaloes. Good looking chaste trees, too. It will all look great in a short period of time. Now you’ve got me craving green chile enchiladas!

    And to think pre-drought, I dismissed junipers! Sadly, I took the attention away from the pizza / sandwich fare that’s Dion’s, straight to New Mexican!


  8. Great choices – I’ll have some empty spots after freeze damaged plants are removed and may try out some of the plants listed here. Eager to see “finished” plantings and then (anticipating you a bit) looking forward to seeing how it all looks when you go back for a check in later in the season, once everything gets a little more established.

    We are the happy recipients of rain today – our wildflower blooms may put on quite a show with the watering. Here’s hoping no more hard freezes in the Central Texas area – we’ve suffered enough this season!

    A number of desert plants’ native ranges extend the furthest east in the hill country. A number would do well there, I bet, though some might not like more humidity, or the wetter years. But who knows? I look forward to seeing this landscape in May, then October! And congrats on some rain, finally.


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