“When a landscape uses too many cactus and related plants, the effect is often lost and is usually harsh and uninviting.” – paraphrase, author / activist / plant gatekeeper


Or this:


I’m glad those with regional inspiration and design skill didn’t abide by such a mindset. Their desert eyes are on. Probably with SPF 50 on their exposed skin.

That scene at the Desert Botanical Garden is Sonoran, except the Yucca rostrata on the far right.


If you’re in the southwest desert, but a cooler zone, you can create much of that magic and drama. I already know what I would substitute to get that effect and the next bit of drama in Las Cruces or El Paso, Albuquerque, and even a bit outside that region, up in Santa Fe.

Such effects can be pulled off easily and adapted on the coasts, and even without most of the succulent forms in the central great plains or more northerly intermountain areas.


Just 1 aisle over, this came into view. I’ve not been here in late light to notice before, but after framing out the valley girls v. 2019, it’s serious green plant drama.

This amount of Opuntia still works, because of the linear and rectilinear forms.



In this garden, there’s scale. Many public botanical gardens have money and scale, anyway.

But it’s who does what with all that.

There’s intellect in design, which combines function and form, then layers in local biology, whimsy, order, repetition, scale, and all those other classic design principles. It’s really quite the arsenal to choose from.

“Be bold and great things will happen to you.” – yes!


4/30/19 weather:
84F / 59F / 0.04 or 29c / 15c / .10