On-Air: Landscaping West Texas

I was interviewed on landscape concepts for West Texas by Tom Michael, on Marfa Public Radio, KRTS 93.5 FM. My interview was a week before that segment of West Texas Talk was broadcast on 6/24/2015.

You can listen – here.


From about 15:40 in the interview, I was able to make a point often missed, crucial to any primer on xeriscape or native plants –

Select materials and plants native or adapted to your ecoregion, but design those materials for the architecture of the space.

above – linear planter and wall, linear but informal hedge of Opuntia ellisiana; below – linear space, naturalistic rock mulch, random Echinocereus spp.

Thankfully, many Texans are notably proud of place and native plants. That could help elevate genuine, ecoregional gardens into our mainstream.


One thing I missed: if our natural areas’ landscapes looked as incongruous as some xeriscape designs, few would want to visit state and national parks, open spaces, and the like. That’s another interview or post!

Though I did relate one natural landscape outside Marfa as possibly informing a prominent one near the middle of town.


Desert Candle / Dasylirion leiophyllum in mass, a single Torrey Yucca / Yucca torreyi. One is old nature, and the other is contemporary manmade. More on the building and works inside – here.


4 Replies to “On-Air: Landscaping West Texas”

  1. Fun fun! Glad you got interviewed in Marfa. You have the right sensibility for their area.

    I didn’t comment on your rain lily post earlier but loved it. I think Hope when I see rain lilies blooming. Proof that good things exists even when we don’t see them. Glad you put that post up. I’m going to get a bunch for fall planting.

    Thanks, me too. In some ways, I have to stretch my mind out and then in, as I refine my design senses into something more understated. Hope on seeing rain lilies…very, very true. Fall…hoping for an early one!


  2. David, every time I read your words, and especially when I hear you, or see you, I feel like I want to take notes. You see the full picture of everything, you SEE it….all…consider it ALL…practically and intellectually.
    You are a born teacher. I’m so lucky to know you.

    I like your geographical and geological consideration you give to everything. So thoughtful….inspiring….

    Thank you!

    You’re welcome! I taught 3 semesters at the community college, and do give talks. Maybe I should add that to my business offerings in a more serious way? I’m glad to see so much in different things, that’s how I learn. Geography…did poorly at it in the 6th grade, yet I did well at it in college…time to get back to writing my booklet and book on hold?


  3. You reminded me of a visit to a (long closed) florist/nursery in West Austin. Somebody had just been there asking if they had any xeric native plants and after they left empty handed the young woman who worked behind the counter said “I wanted to tell him “no, but I can give you a bucket and a trowel and you can take anything you like out of the ditch in front of the store”.” Everybody in the store laughed.

    That’s perfect! I used to tell people how I learned tough plants was what was growing without any care or irrigation for years, or in the joints between my old house and patio, or street and curb…Chilopsis, Fallugia, Ericameria, Nolina, Chrysactinia, … My neighbors never did go for it.


Comments are closed.