This is the mid-century modern renovation and plant edit I hinted at. A day later, my grill is ready for making my Labor Day dinner; the charcoal scent is divine.
Las Cruces, 9/6/2015 –
I’m glad the sizeable Piñon / Pinus edulis were protected and retained; they’re the state tree. Hopefully, some other plantings are added at the root zones without damaging any shallow roots, that can help shelter those upland pines’ roots and add some moisture via their drip irrigation.
Piñons typically occur only above 5500′ elevation this far south – this house is 4100′, over 5F warmer.
I think this property was one I saw on drive-bys with fellow spiky plant fan E. Hodoba, from Valencia County. We were both in Las Cruces for a Native Plant Society annual meeting, and I recall a number of homes in this part of town loaded with great cacti and other plants – some not hardy the next zone colder in central New Mexico. Including a number of saguaro cacti, some with arms…those may have been there since the last big freezes in late 1976, I’ve been told.
I’m unsure how saguaros made it without help most winters, given the usual couple lows most winters in the low teens.
The neighbors I was visiting assured me a number of cacti and agaves on their block, and in this landscape, froze in the 2/2011 uber-freeze, never to grow back, even given months. They got to -5F or so, with nearby areas -11F.
Some plants like that are almost perfect in appearance, including a few creosote bushes. Other plants like some sotols and Spanish brooms look stressed.
I wonder what the exterior shell of the house will turn out like. I also wonder if a more intensive planting, in diversity and density, might be added once the house exterior is finished, along the walkway and especially near the front door. Possibly a subtle water feature, and some flowering, though that’s not essential. That’s the direction I might go, given my decades in the high desert.
Then again, I also like privacy from solicitors, and I would have a low garden wall up front with a locked gate…
Not sure about a few simple, bold containers by the front breezeway…
Sorry for accidentally cropping out the Fishhook Barrel Cactus / Ferocactus wislizenii in the last photo; I also meant to take some close-ups of it, as it had a bloom.
I hope you were able to relax this weekend, even if you had to work some like me.
Back to my cold SanTan Hop Shock IPA:-)