Checking out Hospital #5

Over my career, I did landscape designs on several hospitals in El Paso and Albuquerque. The last design in this post may be my favorite, and I’m enjoying it grow in.

Photos from 2/13/20. Picking up my friend at the train station, I enjoyed one of El Paso’s many architectural gems and an established Live Oak / Quercus X virginiana:

EP Train Station-E-SML


Hurrying back to my home for the sunset, it’s The Hospitals of Providence, Transmountain Campus, starting at the entry portico.

Hosp Prov Trans-Portico 1a_2020-02-13-SML

The late sunlight caught the grouping of natives; a foothills Bull Muhly / Muhlenbergia emersleyi with the oft-used, Big Bend accent Beaked Yucca / Yucca rostrata.

There was no ability to include passive water harvesting (aka bioswales or rain gardens back east) or many site planning innovations when the architects and us other team members began work; the civil engineering design was mostly complete by then.

But we did get to use gray water, and learn a few unexpected things with plants that take that treated water along the way. Those plants weren’t included in a decade-old study since they weren’t available and tested.

Chihuahuan Desert ecoregion native plants were heavily used.

At the ER parking area, more space with less visibility concerns exist. More Beaked Yucca were specified, to take advantage of the expansive desert skies, while a green ‘Rio Bravo’ Texas Sage / Leucophyllum langmaniae ‘Rio Bravo’ was massed as an informal hedge.

Hosp Prov Trans-ER2a_2020-02-13-SML

The compact showpiece of Artichoke Agave / Agave parryi ssp. truncata was used near intersections, to allow greater visibility and interest at those key locations.

Too bad I can’t transplant some of the pups and fill in some gaps…

Hosp Prov Trans-ER2b_2020-02-13-SML

Across the way, more of the same plants unify that area’s overall effect. This will also will provide some skyline accent with the sky and view of the Franklin Mountains.

Hosp Prov Trans-ER1_2020-02-13-SML


I hope to visit other portions of this landscape as it warms up to see other areas and spring growth before summer. It will need to be done in covert fashion, since there’s now a requirement with this facility and others like it to get written authorization for photos and for one time, only.

That’s the meeting of post-9/11 security meets proprietary ownership, and this is private property.

My other hope is that post-Covid-19 protocols will not further prohibit the ability to enjoy and document landscape treatments. That’s a possibility, but perhaps being reasonable will once again rule.