Before and After the Plant Sale

After I gave the FloraFest lecture at the University of Texas at El Paso two Friday nights ago, they put me up at the campus hotel. That way I would spend part of Saturday helping with their annual plant sale.

And that I did, most of the day.


I didn’t answer many specific design questions, nor did anyone ask about that 1 plant to buy. You know, a plant that needs no water, flowers all year, won’t attract bees, is evergreen, and has nothing to do with anything else they have. Instead, most people asked me about their entire front or back yard as a coherent space – that’s a first.

My kind of people. I must have advised on and sold 4 gardens, plus various plants.


I didn’t buy 1 plant. My own landscape plan must come first.

I know, “boo, boo”! I’m setting a good example. And try keeping container plants alive in a shady spot with our wind and single digit humidity, plus some rear-record warmth on top of all that.


Before showing up, I took a quick look at an in-progress hospital renovation I designed just blocks away. Many plantings are just months old, and we’re awaiting the sculpture tree installation from Seattle’s Koryn Rolstad.

I didn’t ID materials and plants, but you can always ask.



After the sale, I enjoyed perfect weather walking UTEP’s Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, adjacent to the Centennial Museum.



Instead of driving home to start unpacking, it was more enjoyable to first check on the growth of Ten Eyck Landscape Architects’ Centennial Plaza.



All kinds of impromptu and ceremonial activities go on here, where it was once a wasteland of asphalt, vehicles, and lawn on 2:1 slopes. I’ve happened upon quinceanera, wedding and graduation photography, Frisbee throwing, and of course studying, but never dance practice.

Work it!


Back to hardscape and planting design…



I’ve had a very busy 3 months involving a move, speaking engagements, travel, and trying to keep up with working out and just living some.

I’ll start posting on my latest travel in pieces, including the Garden Blogger’s Fling in Austin. Though these last few months gave me far more to post about than possible.

Only my need to get settled and design my own garden exceeds my ideas to post!

5 Replies to “Before and After the Plant Sale”

  1. I find the first year or two the most exciting with a new garden. Mine has already tipped over to thinning out and revamping.
    I do hope that the blog posts you can find time for will be about your new garden!

    That’s what I remember, too. Though with clients, I always hoped the first 2-3 years no bad maintenance would creep in, then those looked the best as they really filled in. Yes – once done with one last blogger’s fling, I’ll start by posting sketches!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey! Comments are on again, when did you do that?

    Andrew and I went round and round about whether or not to spend a night in El Paso before flying out after our June trip, I wanted to…he said there wouldn’t be anything worth seeing. Obviously you’ve proven him wrong. I shudder to think what desert awesomeness I’ll be missing in Las Cruces and El Paso not having more time…

    It was good to see you again, in Austin. I never feel like I have enough time to talk with everyone I would like to during the Flings though.

    I did it one dark, stormy starry night… He must be reading something on “quality book stores per sq mile”, which would mean both are in Las Cruces or Mesilla. Yes, I realized when I was about to drive home that I barely had time to hang out with many. Glad I stayed after the tour Sunday and hung out.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. El Paso’s Chihuahuan Desert Gardens look lush! It was so fun to meet you IRL. Good to have more to post than time to post. I look forward to watching the progress of your own garden. I find designing for myself difficult because I want to grow everything!

    They really are, using so many plants in a small space will do it. Yes, I keep telling myself that about posting. The plans will start soon – I think your challenge may be mine!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love seeing all your planting designs. I wish you every happiness in your new home.

    Thanks! I only wish I could accelerate mine into maturity…but in a few years.

    Liked by 1 person

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