The El Paso version of “snowy” weather over, with decent cold for over a month, I finally made it to the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens. I think of it as plant therapy, to help me through an unusual amount of work stress since about May.
Scenes from a dull, brisk day at UTEP, 1/10-12/2015:
Bugs Bunny was a little off; most turns from there are not wrong :-) This landscape looks to have been designed for the growing season, not winter. Tsk tsk… But with that a 250 day growing season, not bad.
And what would it be without some trendy gabion structures? Biology students could have a blast on summer nights, armed with flashlights to see scorpions, vinegaroons and the like, creeping in and out of the gabions.
I agreed to do some minor volunteer work at these gardens, more garden therapy for me. Caveat – this is a plant collection, not a designed garden. We’ll see how it goes.
That Weeping Juniper / Juniperus flaccida is really a rare one to see growing in gardens, native to the tiny Chisos Mountains of the Big Bend. Birds love the berries, but no berries on this one.
There must be alot of untapped genetic diversity in this acacia, given its highly variable hardiness in close distances. Worth selecting for, since the live ones are left and look great.
Wish I could buy that one.
A healthy budget to pay for all the corten steel bridges over her “arroyas”. It really looks good and hopefully the edges aren’t a tripping hazard. The use of ‘Regal Mist’ Grass / Muhlenbergia capillaris low where water collects, and Giant Hesperaloe / H. funifera high where it’s drier, is good, but so is the mix of rock sizes from local work.
Trust me, LA’s don’t often get projects like this, where free-reign, commitment to salvage and reuse / discard of the inappropriate, and budget all meet. Bravo.
I’m curious how the natural cracking in concrete will occur, or be controlled, over time. Though these are beefy and perhaps less susceptible with TELA’s top-secret layout of rebar in the concrete?
Those of you from outside the southwest, did you know durable but blah concrete can become an appealing amenity? Yes, via some finishes and thoughtful layout. I didn’t have a clue until I moved to San Diego out of college. I’ve been happily designing it in different ways since, though we’re talking about relatively mild, dry winter climates, without the freeze-thaw of points N-E.
So, what was your favorite mid-winter plant or hardscape feature?