Seen While Driving in My Area

Though Las Cruces is spread out, I sometimes take my camera to record different standout landscape designs I drive by.

This is in front of a small office complex with a restaurant; the people developing this complex mentioned all the trees and yuccas volunteered, since the swale catches extra stormwater.

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Chilopsis linearis is the tree, with Yucca elata, a few Atriplex, and Larrea growing in-between. Occasionally, the trees are pruned up.

But oddly, the trees are progressively smaller to the right, which is downhill and where more stormwater should flow into.

I’m surprised to lease out and sell remaining lots and offices, that this same effect wasn’t carried to the other frontages including passive water harvesting. Not to mention some entry monumentation with stronger plantings.

But my former field is an afterthought once again.

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Up the road, this planting has always caught my eye. A split rail fence using railroad ties, with a loose hedge of Opuntia ellisiana planted to grow through it, is quite effective. The architecture of a token tile roof and rock wall not so much…

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The evening light on a warmish June evening is a sight to behold. Agave neomexicana is so common but so fitting, more than I ever realized 10 years ago while wrapping up the design.

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You won’t find too much on my posts like this about oleanders, stunted crepe myrtles, lollipop-shaped ash and pears, or lantanas. But one should agree that what’s common in the Las Cruces area is significantly more native, adapted, or appropriate than what’s common where I lived 21+ years on my last blog.

That’s often with an overall, effective design, too – crucial on releasing a place from horticultural repression.

7/17/17 weather: 94 / 65 / 0.55

A Lonely Desert Grassland Road

The last day of my long weekend, I was ready to be back home.

But first, after breakfast, I finally drove out on Pinto Canyon Road, into the pastoral morning light.

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After one truck there was not one more vehicle, for miles. In fact my entire 30 minutes there.

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New agaves a start to a stronger entry?

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Gracious yet expansive. Peaceful.

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Some Little Walnut / Juglans microcarpa trees where the occasional stormwater collects along the draw…

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…the effects of a late spring freeze on these trees’ foliage.

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Almost back in Marfa, this looks like someone is working on the concrete buildings Donald Judd sketched but never realized.

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Or are these remnants of incomplete construction when Judd was alive?

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A simple but bold monument to enter a small housing area, complete with some of the finer plants in the desert world…

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Borrowed View: To My East

Each day after working around those I must work around, this is what I see once I change into summer clothes and open the blinds.

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Sure, the foreground of my rental property lacks. Though the spare look of retained native plants in brown gravel mulch helps – Soaptree clumps and a few Fourwing Saltbush.

The neighbor’s horse fence trellis nicely compliments the space, adding an additional edge to their house, irregular desert plants, and low wall.

More closely, a nicely-framed Sotol is in the shadow of a Desert Willow.

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A borrowed view is a powerful design tool, when it’s good.

Even when you borrow it with what you choose to frame, but certainly more when you design frames into such a view.

Just a tempering of our near-record heat to something less obscene, and more flowers are appearing on that Chilopsis linearis.

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Though none of this is mine, it’s certainly a nice welcome back to my real life when I get home each day. Or just each day that I’m home.

It is my own view of serenity.

7/8/17 weather: 96 / 65 / 0.00