Civic Space 101: Filling In at JUTEP

That’s actually UTEP for “the University of Texas at El Paso”, but this region’s “border Spanish” makes “U” and “Y” have a noticeable “J” sound. I may have heard “jucca” said as much as “yucca” during 2+ decades at this region’s jobsites.

Our area’s largest showcase of native plants in a public garden is at year 3. That age often marks when a garden gets much better.

By Ten Eyck’s office, visited by me last weekend:


Without several hours to spend, I try to start in a different place depending on the lighting – this was late afternoon.

The clean, walkable, and permeable groundplane of decomposed granite isn’t kitchen floor enough for some, but it has multiple benefits. Sound of footsteps included.

An excellent massing of plants and hardscape to take it all in.


Those are Hesperaloe x ‘Pink Parade’, a hybrid of old, massive favorite H. funifera and more common H. parviflora. Agave ovatifolia is in the background, seeming to float on the aggregate.

Onto one of my favorite accent plants, with those tall, almost comical bloom stalks – Yucca pallida.


Looking the other way, away from the dinner theatre, below R is a mass of H. parviflora ‘Brakelights’.


Fallugia paradoxa are overgrowing the yuccas; not sure that was the intent, so I asked Ten Eyck herself a couple years ago on a conference wrap-up visit.


A sunken placita (mini-plaza) with Nolina greenei under the young trees, as retaining seat walls take advantage of the grade change.


Do those pricey Kornegay pots look worth it, like they do to me? Of course, it helps using hardy, effective Dasylirion quadrangulatum inside them.


And on the other entry of the same Psychology building, these steps.


More Dasylirion quandrangulatum in the planters along the stairs, plus other native and adapted plantings. Something like that at NMSU and especially UNM would completely overcome past ways.

A low area with water harvesting below one of many outcroppings of andesite rock, and voila – Gaura lindheimeri.



Closing out with series of seat walls, providing a layering effect going downhill.




More vigorous Apache Plume taking over.


A hike a few days later showed my sentimental favorite cactus, Opuntia engelmannii, in bloom.


A number of Echinocactus horizonthalonius were blooming, too.


Have a good rest of the weekend!


5/13/17 weather: 91 / 64 / .00


6 Replies to “Civic Space 101: Filling In at JUTEP”

  1. It looks very nicely grown in and well kept. The pots are very cool and the plants complement them well. Happy to see your dessert bloom photos… the contrast between prickly cactus leaves and their stunning flowers.

    Christy Ten Eyck included maintenance coaching with her design services, and so far it’s valued and mostly followed. Those pots and contrasts…possibly my favorite things.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thank you, a lovely setting, I love all the clean lines and architectral planting with the free flowing softness of other plants, the hard landscaping reminds me of Corbusier and kitchen floors belong in kitchens I like the softness of the pathways, hope you had a good hike, Frances

    It really is an island of rest in the middle of busy El Paso, and her office nicely pulled off converting the large, steep-sloped spaces formerly parking lots and ashphalt. Le Corbusier – I think you’re right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. after reading your reply I clicked through to the landscape company that did the work and they have some before photos, wow what a change, so much more useful now for everyone, people and wildlife, and of course far, far more pleasant to see, thanks Frances

      You’re welcome, her firm really did make the space useful for all, instead of mostly for speeding cars. Not to mention peaceful. They have a nearby freeway and major streets for speed and noise!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pretty! What do you think of using H. funifera in landscaping? I remember seeing a lot more in Arizona when I was there, and I loved their giant bloom stalks. Alas, they seem hard to find in CA at nurseries… Thanks for the inspiration and explainations!

    You bet! I used H. funifera more years ago, but I still like it…give a 6′ circle as it gets large. All the other hesperaloes do well, too. Hummingbirds like them even more.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s all really great planting, and yes I agree with you, the pots are fabulous. Love how there is lots of seating planned in, just what’s needed.

    I once specified those containers into a project, but no luck – trying again! The built-in sitting terraces really get used between classes.

    Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.