Ordinary and Good

As my design process matured in decades of weather extremes, a new appreciation for landscape techniques grew. Plants re-took center stage – lower water-use species, hardy in desert winters and summers with little care.

India Hawthorn / Rhaphiolepis indica, found at most strip malls and gas stations, along with junipers or trailing rosemaries.


Since we can’t grow azaleas, Raphs have to do.

Raphs have always reminded me of those elusive foothills manzanitas, so picky that few here bother. And there are many different forms of tough Raphs out there in the high desert towns I’ve been or worked, all happy.

Red Tip Photinia / Photinia x fraseri can be scorched and anemic, wanting richer soils and more water than desert soil torture. But who doesn’t enjoy the new foliage?


Is that another gas station plant hiding between Photinias – Silver King Euonymus?

Good design is a key, like with even exotic plants.

Boxleaf Euonymus / Euonymus japonicus ‘Microphyllus’ always looks green.


No I haven’t lost my mind; it is green. And that genus’ powdery mildew or scale is rarely a problem in our rarified desert air.

Those can be issues if overwatering and irrigating overhead, but why would a person feel a need to do that?


My point, as often, is fashion over fad. Classic over trendy.

Are there plants that thrive with little water and care where you are, which are not in vogue like they should be?

4/15/17 weather: 86 / 49 / .0