Plant Sale Day

I needed a couple hours off from some nasty deadlines (they come in multiples, now), so I enjoyed the final afternoon of UTEP’s annual plant sale. Though blustery and spitting rain drops, the chilly air smelled so fresh.

Photos from 4/26/2014 –

UTEP Cent Mus N-Arch DesPlants_2015-04-26-SML
Astrophytum spp. and Echinocactus grusonii w/ Dalea greggii in bloom…and another striking view

Just in case you don’t know, this isn’t my look, and I like lots of looks.

This is really a plant collection more than a botanical garden – there’s little design to create serenity. The hardscape and architecture do all the work, as the plants go along. I know serenity, since I create it, even out of necessity (income) on thankless projects mostly about deadlines, bottom lines…sad those are.

I know serenity not just because I lived in a place named Serenity Hills a long while. Serenity, design…worth pondering.

As a designer, I can separate the parts from the whole, while I don’t expect others to do that. And the parts being native to here (Chihuahuan Desert) or to adjacent ecoregions, that is good.

No gestures to denial here, so another good thing other than the parts.

UTEP Cent Mus-UmbrellaSage_2015-04-26-SML
Salvia farinacea is great with the orange umbrellas

The front terrace at the UTEP Centennial Museum has always been a favorite place since my first UTEP plant sale in 2001. Living at the time in a horticulturally represssed / dyslexic town, seeing these massive desert willows anchoring other native plants with cool architecture was refreshing.

Calylophus hartwegii makes up for mostly cloudy
Gila region native, Anisacanthus thurberi
dull day, feathery native Artemisia filifolia cooling

Until now, I never noticed how this ‘Maverick’ Honey Mesquite’s trunk frames the distant gold of Parkinsonia x ‘Desert Museum’.

an “only in El Paso moment”: prayer flags from Bhutan, Chihuahuan Desert plants dance

Remember Danger Garden’s “cram-it” style of gardening?

I’ve shown a couple nearby gardens doing that, and I have a few more. It’s appropriate in a cram-it university planting, that I’m shopping for plants to fill my patio containers. And yes, there shall be cramming at my own place…I have the planters and sterile space literally begging for such a treatment. Begging, I say!

Did you really think I forgot there was a plant sale?

*some* of the plants I bought for my patio

Stay tuned for the part about my plants :-)


3 Replies to “Plant Sale Day”

  1. Lovely plant pictures. Good to take a break and play with plants now and again. I am too much of a plant geek to design my own garden. Not much room for weeds when you cram!

    Thanks, some good things to see around…I’m just glad to get in some time to do that. No workouts and hikes in 3 weeks, so maybe that can be added back, too! True on cramming vs. weed…a plus.

    I wanted to hire someone to help me design my last home landscape…crazy!


  2. Yay, looking forward to getting a closer look at what you bought and what you do with them. Your natives are so interesting and so different from ours. I love that Anisacanthus, but I bet it wouldn’t like it here.

    I only need to get something more leafy for more umph that natives don’t have, at least what we can buy in EP / NM! You might be surprised on some of the foothills plants like that Anisacanthus in your area, though a long enough sunny/warm season may be needed for ones that flower and fruit.


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