What Makes It Work?

Note the whitish layer in the soil (called caliche), overlain with gravels (called desert pavement), and the widely-spaced olive-green creosote bushes on top. As the wind blows the clouds about, which of course don’t rain.

this, catching my breath on a Sunday mountain bike ride

No coincidence or randomness in that.

Geology, biology, and meteorology conspire to grow things where there is no drip irrigation, nobody wearing black and glasses, or a municipal client with an open pocketbook – for those who stay in line.

During a conversation about our pasts, a landscape architect years ago asked me how my original college major of meteorology even related to my final degree in landscape architecture and becoming an LA.

Yes – I’m also confused!

Potential replies to that and a few times since have gone off in my head, “how does graphic design relate to the 4-D canvas of land and horticulture?”, “how does overplanting by 3 times help your client?”, or “how does it work using plants observably hardy only in the life zone warmer than you up in the mountains, only to copy Des Moines down in the desert?” All common themes in that group.

She asked in all sincerity, not out of shooting me down. Instead of getting uppity with her, I mentioned some things about working with one’s native vegetation and climate goes further when one gets their interrelatedness.

Of course, it all relates. Even other design fields, graphics to fashion.

But most certainly soils, life forms, and weather – caliche, creosote, and climate.


3 Replies to “What Makes It Work?”

  1. It is interesting that you were pointing out the creosote bush because when we were in Joshua Tree this winter learnt how they produce a chemical which deters other plants from growing around them. The more rain there is the closer the plants will be and we certainly saw that as we traveled back from California, through Arizona and on into Texas. A naked distance in spacing. I rather wish some of my plants would do that.

    That allelopathic compound causing that is true in creosote bush, but a number of plants grow right under / around creosotes. Like Dona Ana Cactus –
    Yes on spacing increasing w/ less rain, but your sub-humid land just may be too moist even with drought or 50% rock as “soil”!

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