Several seasons later, my last posts showed a desert subdivision’s common areas. My focus was how revegetation seeding and some other plantings established over time, in spite of drought.
Which plants made it?
By Fall 2013, most plants growing were native, with most in the seed mix as specified.
Do you see the plant density here?
Meadows of 100% plant cover are the exception in arid desert – unsustainable without far more water and different soils than this project.
I’m not after that on the majority of land, the uplands here. 1/4 to 1/3 soil cover is what most Chihuahuan desert grassland sustains; we’re almost there.
This site averages about 8″ rain / year, but the irrigation system adds another 10″+ to that, ensuring live plant cover decreases less in drought.
I brought out the big guns. Jeff knows horticulture, so I gained much touring him through work designed at Metro Verde.
Originally from Minnesota, he’s a westerner now…like that belt buckle!
Cowboy up or stay home, the bumpersticker says. The invasive grass needs removal and monitoring, so all else can grow better; so do a few Siberian elm volunteers, thirsty and damaging to hardscape.
That’s one of other linear ponds to the north and east of the one I’ve posted on, using the same seed mix and irrigation design, but finished the next year.
Originally, ponding areas had free-form edges, visual features (boulder outcroppings, a few specimen plantings), and arroyo trees in the bottoms. Even passive spaces near the trees for the dry 95% of the year.
Denied! The public works dept. required truck access into ponding areas, so trees would get in the way and be too much maintenance…same with other ideas.
Even one native tree volunteered into a few areas, from wild stands – Desert Willow / Chilopsis linearis.
The city landscape architect also noticed a Chilopsis; it won’t do harm where it is, though they do reseed. I hope her notice is good and not an omen, and those with the “need” to drive trucks everywhere won’t rip them out.
“Cowboy up” isn’t always good in the wild (south)west.