Roadtrip Designs

I’m always up for a trip somewhere else! Sometimes it’s a necessity, like to the office, out for errands, or breakfast tacos on a Saturday morning, to start the weekend.

Other times it’s a break, like to a place far out of town.

Always, I’m scoping out interesting plants and outdoor spaces…good, bad or ugly. Photos 5/11/14 and 5/17/14 –

Desert Willow/ Chilopsis linearis (El Paso TX)

Some readers may not have seen a mature or even happy Desert Willow, so just a few examples – here.

these growing on just rainfall, in depressed freeway swales and basins

A necessity for highway drainage, depressed grades are also an opportunity – for ecoregionally-appropriate plants to beautify those outdoor spaces. Desert Willow is an arroyo riparian tree, not a floodplain tree. Floodplain = water flooding periodic, water close to the surface…arroyo riparian = dry wash, only water in it the few stormy periods we get each year, water often far down.

Passive water harvesting!

new flowers so profuse, a very dusty rose color from the opposite lanes
now, here (Van Horn TX)
on a glorious, almost summer-like night
nice architectural touches, even a fountain
but as usual in the high desert, the good stuff happens beyond the outside walls

Grand specimens of Faxon or Palm Yucca / Yucca faxoniana, with Colorado Piñon / Pinus edulis. To me the interior spaces need more of this. And more on that another time.

6 Replies to “Roadtrip Designs”

  1. Have only ever seen ‘real’ tumbleweeds in El Paso. They were blowing across freeway like a John Wayne movie.

    Love looking at the plants, their differences in form due to zone.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

    That’s great, and they blow across most every construction site in the SW, even San Diego! Hoping to show the change from 5000′ (92F) to the river at 1900′ (110F).


  2. One day I hope to travel and have a chance to stay there.
    A few years back before the 2011 freeze they had the court yard full of washintonia filiferas palms. I thought it it look amazing! And the faxons there are huge!
    I bet you could do some wonderful things with that court yard David.

    Thanks, would be a good project. That’s surprising their original W. filifera died, but maybe Van Horn gets a more direct hit with cold? Travel is nice, I need to save up more and re-build my business, at least there’s so much within 2 hours of me.


  3. I used to wonder why there weren’t more “mature” plantings closer to commercial structures but many questions were answered as I watched homes being renovated across the street. Construction crews are not great respecters of plant life – the place they work is a construction site, no more, and their needs for piles of materials or dumpster placement trump all.

    I had never before considered how much effort it takes to protect a mature tree or planting area from such traffic (and debris) nor how expensive it would be to install mature plants/trees after the fact (not to mention how much more at risk a large mature newly transplanted specimen would be.

    So, though Hotel El Capitan is over 100 years old, it has recently undergone a huge renovation project. I’m thankful the specimens outside the walls survived! All that said – I totally agree. The spaces inside the walls are crying out for their fair share of attention. Maybe they’ll let YOU do it!

    Interesting point about commercial structures losing good plants during renovation…had that disappointment at an El Paso hotel, removing mature live oaks since owner hated the litter…in too-sunny El Paso, where trees are too few. No asking me how to work with them, just “they make a mess” or “they are in the way”. Sigh.

    That would be nice to come in and renovate the El Capitan landscape and central courtyard, but they appear to be sadly “finished”! If only Trost were alive, to hear what he might want nowadays with native plants?


  4. Love the desert willow! Love MY desert willow! Think of you every time I see it!

    Sent from my iPhone

    Cool; only need to see how *your* desert willow is doing in OK…


  5. Those desert willows are beautiful mass planted like that…so wispy and airy. My fav is that yucca tree! I think I saw a one of those Colorado palms this wknd….I thought it was a med. Fan palm at first. What are hour thoughts on that palm????

    Yes, simply striking. Those ordinary yuccas (for here) can become so stunning. The Colorado “palms” are actually piñon pines…not sure which your talking of?


    1. You know….I looked at your pics on the desktop, and I thought I saw a similar palm to the one I saw at a garden center….but it was shadows. Looking at pics on my phone, just does not do them justice.

      I think I love the yucca tree even more now, seeing it BIGGER and CLEARER!


Comments are closed.