Hot Date in Vegas – Pt. 2

Back to Reclamation’s Date Street Campus, their first project I designed with TSK.

Building 1400, the Lower Colorado Regional Office or just “the Green Building”, the landscape was on a *tight* budget thanks to the design-build process. A success thanks to all: owner to design team to the desert.

What worked? From Boulder City NV, too hot on 6/24/2015 –

front, E of the building entrance (S facing)

The plants were chosen for tight spaces, the creosote bushes providing green and visibility out the windows via the open forms; the building can shine.

Varied rock sizes act as mulch, like desert pavement does in the wild.

Some promising information on this odd agave hybrid, whose parentage had me questioning its toughness to high desert locales – here.

Onto one of the two largest planting areas on that property, this one including a small water harvesting tank. I might share more on the sides, rear and water harvesting tank another time.

front corner, heading to the W side (W facing)

The larger spaces allow near-native Teddybear Cholla / Cylindropuntia biglovii, plus native Catclaw Acacia / Acacia greggii, White Bursage / Ambrosia dumosa, with creosotes and Joshuas. The wildflower seeding in the swale is dormant now, so I’ll have to check it out in the spring.

With half the rain El Paso gets, it’s very arid; the LEED Gold certification attained on this project severely limits irrigation. Looking at the mountains, one can see why I use “Martian” to describe their land.

Do you ever wonder what your plantings would look like, if you could only use drip irrigation to establish, then hand watering afterwards in drought?


3 Replies to “Hot Date in Vegas – Pt. 2”

  1. I think if the right plants are selected, drip then handwatering after establishment is a practical option…you? But not as practical for commercial ?….a handwatering business could do very well…hmmmmm

    It seems easy, and LEEd allows it (I can see the cistern in Las Vegas drying up for a while!). But it’s easier to leave the LA out of the dialogue until the end, then blame them for not selecting [rabbit-proof] [0-water] plants!


  2. If I had to hand water? I know precisely what such a space would look like. Take your post photo with the acahui, then take the acahui out, all of it. So….rocks. I’d have a bumper crop of rocks with maybe a couple of weeds after it rained.

    If restrictions here get all the way to hand watering alone? I’m all for moving to a smaller place with an interior courtyard and I’d garden in pots I could hand water with grey water from the house. (The way it is done in so many other countries where irrigation and water sources have been problematic for centuries.)

    I bet you’d have more than rocks growing! Having had the small property and courtyard, that’s what I did…and today, I could do it better than as a “newbie” in 1998 when we started it. In fact, your premise from older times, is exactly why. Even if I owned miles of desert foothills (my dream), I would have a small house and 2-3 courtyards – the rest natural. (like a smaller Rockrose, but drier)


  3. Looks great! What exposure are the various angles. Particularly which side faces north? I’m concerned I have an agave in the north side of my house the may not get enough sunlight in the winter.

    Thanks! I’ll post more on that place; I added exposures to pics. In your area, agaves that are full sun here can be part shade (A. parryi, A. havardiana), etc. #HyperSummer


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