Roadtrip: Sidetracked as Always

Even on a fast trip where time is everything, I try to seek out some inspiration in nature or a garden space.

Some young Agave americana were planted in a squarish bed of Nasella tenuissima, as I awaited a homemade donut from a brand new restaurant next door to this Marfa planting.

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When visiting that town only every several months like I do, there’s often a new restaurant open but a couple more closed.

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Tucked into a corner on my Friday walk to stops on “Made in Marfa” and a couple more rare Judd installation viewings…

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The Chihuahuan Desert doesn’t lack in Opuntia species any more than it lacks in yuccas and ocotillos. This is a form of Opuntia macrocentra, with pad tops in red-purple and shorter, gray spines.

It’s clearly Opuntia macrocentra. Many people in El Paso and Las Cruces cannot tell O. macrocentra apart from many other cacti such as O. camanchica or O. phaecantha. Just like many panic, because they cannot discern bullsnakes from rattlesnakes!

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Annuals like Cosmos are seeded into some challenging planters, but really cheer up cloudy days. Other places with equally narrow planting areas use grasses like this regional native Muhlenbergia emersleyi.

Why not xeric, native grasses on the Chihuahuan desert grassland?

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That is, instead of habitual, mesic eastern or European grasses as nondescript places do, like Denver or Denver-wannabe, Albuquerque. Yep – I speak the truth, as a former Denver and Albuquerque resident.

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Spring and Fall blooming Yucca recurvifolia, planted in…a squarish area of Nasella tenuissima. Certain folks would say this is “well curated”. Not I, since I at least speak US English, not English-du jour..

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And finally one of this small group of trees, which are about the tallest Sapindus drumondii specimens I’ve ever seen.

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