It’s 111 Degrees: Garden Visit!

3 pm…the lower Mojave Desert…in a heat wave. Crazy, even for a desert rat?

I found out that the Gardens at the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas have always been free, if one stays outside and walks the gardens. So, I did!

Photos from 6/25/2014 –

Fortunately, I had two bottles of cold water, and the grounds had drinking fountains galore. After snapping pics for an hour, it was my air conditioned rental car for a drive, down a landscaped freeway enroute to the Spring Mountains…that soar to 12,000 feet elevation, touching alpine tundra.

Though the 8000′ elevation level was my limit, even that was much nicer.

So, into the shade – where it no longer felt hotter than 111F (44c). Their gardens used architecture to create an urban canyon effect in a number of areas, helping at least psychologically. But it still felt every bit of 111.

And that’s even a degree warmer than Boise was.

Many I hear just do not like Las Vegas, for all the eye-rolling reasons imaginable. If these gardens were in their favorite places, they might love them!

As for me, I look at every place’s gardens and landscapes with the same set of standards – design principles. It’s easier, including at the Springs Preserve…even broiling at 111F.

Getting off the plane the next day in El Paso was almost pleasant, though still hot.

El Paso landscaping less so: some good and some “ugh”. Via their codes, some over-salaried officials are crazily greenwashing the new, hiding it all with too many of the wrong trees for the desert, and then poorly used. And just wait until their maintenance gets the treatment.

I try to do better, but I’m still limited…and mostly alone in that.

Do you know of a mailigned place with good garden spaces, and which also belong in their climate?