Streetscape Awakens

My house hunt is starting. Per regional custom with posted hours, the open house closed almost 2 hours early, which I drove miles out of my way to see. But now there was time to spare.

Time to visit a recent landscape design – Engler Road streetscapes, taken 3/5/2017:


Soils at this site are caliche with some gravels on top, which inhibits roots from developing and limits plant choices. Hopefully the medians depressed 12″ will percolate in some extra rain water, to help.

The 20 or so Cercis canadensis var. texensis specified are now taking to dusty New Mexico.


The gloomy day didn’t help the tan tones including the shrubs in back, allowed to stay – I specified green-leafed Leucophyllum langmaniae instead of the gray L. zygophyllum that we ended up with.

Also doing well are the yuccas and grasses, somehow magically left un-shaped into balls last November when they went dormant. My maintenance plan was followed here but not everywhere in this development.

Got me!


A few Yucca rostrata punctuate the repetitive mass of Bouteloua gracilis, like the effect one gets driving those restorative stretches of open road around Marfa or Carrizozo.

It just takes a few of these accents, which will soon accent the skyline.


The yellow leaf margins on the yucca are a detail I often forget about. And the state grass of New Mexico, Blue Grama, is coming alive.


Many green shoots are responding to the ground and air temperatures warming, even if a few weeks early. With all our mountains  protecting us, my guess is even if we get one of those freak March or April snowstorms and some more freezes (our last frost date averages April 1), few or none will be hard freezes below 28F, when the serious damage occurs.



6 Replies to “Streetscape Awakens”

  1. Those colors of tan, grey and some dark green are in my mind, the classic colors of winter in New Mexico, so maybe just as well that the Leuc’s are not the bright green. But, I have a love/hate relationship with those winter colors. On one hand, so evocative. On the other, in living in it, that scheme makes me long for the colors of my youth in California.

    I really wanted to emphasize the green from yucca and others, to brighten up the dormant grasses like on desert grassland expanses. I too love / hate that, though my hate is the gray/brown used poorly and not abstracted. After all in alot of NM, we see 20 mile stretches at a minimum.


  2. I don’t know why it is but I just love the desert landscape. I am never bored when we drive hundreds of miles along those dusty roads. My eyes are always glued to the vegetation that manages to do so well with so little. Good luck with the house hunting.

    The same thing with me growing up, and still now from the driver’s seat. We’ll see how it goes!


  3. That is very frustrating- good for you for turning it into a positive!:)
    I love the clean look of the planting very much. Will the redbud do okay there??!!

    There were more negatives, but I decided to overlook that! Thanks, and yes on the redbuds – 3′ of growth so far. Texas Redbud and Mexican Redbud tough here to caliche, clay, and sand. Just hard to find in my region over too-small-for-streetscapes 15 gallon size.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great to see your updates. I hope you are still designing.

    Thanks…not much designing, except existing projects – day job!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Well planned, yet blends into natural surroundings. Repeating the yucca green in the shrubs would have worked better but stuff happens.

    Always that stuff! Thanks, I need to revisit when things are greener this spring.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.