Stepping Up

While looking for the rose garden I’ve posted on, I drove through the same neighborhood I spotted the Mexican Gold Poppy plants. Then I saw this, among some more typical front gardens for the region.

Photos from the Manhattan Heights neighbordood in central El Paso, 3/27/14 –

I did a double-take driving by this one…needs just a few larger plant touches to carry it better into the summer and winter dormant seasons…and visually…

There’s something about the simple repetition / layering of the broad steps, then the small plants much of the lengths. (a dead Italian Cypress on the far left…)

How about an evergreen shrub or accent plants out front…just one?

nice how these address numbers were integrated, on a rock monument…

Good color and playfulness in the tiles.

Dogweed / Thymophyla pentachaeta on the steps, other gray goodies

How about some small agaves (A. victoria-reginae) or damianitas tucked in to the steps via making some gaps there?


5 Replies to “Stepping Up”

  1. So many possibilities here. It truly does look like they quit right in the middle of doing “something.”

    Rustic, but yes, what next?


  2. I love the informality of the plants popping up on the steps, but it does need something, a different shape or form to give it some contrast.

    Yes! I need to start documenting such unrealized gardens with possibilities, and offer my design services…


  3. To me, it looks like an abandoned house. It needs some touches to make it look intentional and inhabited. Perhaps some large urns with ocotillo, or barrel cactus. Maybe filled with water instead with a single jet fountain in each. Also needs some ground plane attention such as a gravel mulch, and some careful plant editing so that the stairs look used. Then, I would like to see the flagstone stairs/walk have more of a relationship to the concrete ones. Some palo verde or white thorn acacia would be nice, too, since I can’t see if that is a dormant or dead tree on the left. Just sayin’.

    You are very likely right, or at least an absentee owner…seems to be much of that in the old, cool hoods here. If I finally win Powerball, you know what I might start doing! Your ideas sound very good – hardscape unification, plants. The plant on the left is a dead Italian Cypress from the windy-freeze-dried early part of 2011!


  4. I agree – perhaps one large agave – or yucca perhaps our front ? – something large and pointy in contrast to the low brushy plants already in play. But then as you say – something else at the steps as well. Perhaps this is a work in progress. What a fascinating approach and contrary (I’m betting) to the more standardized lawn/garden bed combinations surrounding. Gotta love a garden rebel!

    Exactly – something pointy and large is needed. My guess is it’s either let go from no maintenance or they did stop in-progress! And yes, nearby front yards are either lawns or gravel / scattered plant landscapes. I may need to post on a couple more I spied on that same block.


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