Loose and Tight

Shirley in San Antonio brought up something to bring balance in this issue of over-shaping and over-pruning plants, especially shrubs.

Sometimes there is a good reason to prune. I spied this last week on a burrito run!

LooseTight-CordiaLeuco-EP East01-SML
Littleleaf Cordia / Cordia parviflora with white blooms *

Loose Littleleaf Cordia in the rear, on the bank property. A tight, green Texas Sage / Leucophyllum spp. in front, on the Taco Cabana property.

Accidental, perhaps. But this scene looks best maintained just like it is.

The Leucophyllum will probably flower less this way, but if not kept too severely tight, it will still have some blooms, as others all over town do.

The Texas Sages’ tightness pops better here beacuse of the Cordia, and vice-versa. Both pump up the impact of the other; each would be less if the other were pruned in the opposite manner it is.
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*Littleleaf Cordia / Cordia parviflora is hardy in arid USDA z 9a, the probable zone at this site just inside the urban heat island-thermal belt combo of central El Paso. Littleleaf Cordia also combines well with lower water-use desert accents, cacti, not just lighter or darker contrasting walls and clipped shrubs.

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One Reply to “Loose and Tight”

  1. Good catch – this is a great example of contrast working to bring harmony. I think this is why to me the best part of planted lawns or paths are the edges – where the uniform meets variety and the contrast brings out the best in both.

    Exactly, the edge is a great design tool – and “edge” can mean something other than the usual(ly lame) divisions between gravel types. I’ve been guilty of too many similar plant forms in one spot, this was a good lesson for me.

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