Looking In and Out

Driving home, I took an hour to tour the Transmountain Hospital landscape I designed in El Paso. It was actually daylight.

Looking towards the ER entrance, I was disappointed about not being able to utilize passive water harvesting to benefit these plants.

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The simple pattern of Muhlenbergia emersleyi ‘El Toro’ and young Acacia farnesiana in a part-curve compliments the Leucophyllum langmaniae ‘Rio Bravo’.

The lone Yucca rostrata stands as a focal point, swallowed by the swirl of grasses.

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The same scene, but looking out of the ER portico and far into the badlands along the US-Mexico border.

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Dion’s 2 Years Later

Night landscape visits in September beat evening visits in July, which is my last time here 2 years ago.

And how Dion’s in Albuquerque’s south valley is maturing.

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The drive-through pickup lane plantings are exactly as envisioned.

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The maintenance has greatly improved, even with some plant substitutions that may be a result of over-watering or other issues previously. How can I tell, since my 2015 visit, when it was relatively weed-free with only smaller plants?

The containers at the key pedestrian entry now look like what I specified in my plan. Summer plantings in the growing season beat winter annuals.

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Vitex agnus-castus / Chaste Tree in alternating, sunken parking lot planters are growing in.

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The “LE” on the monument stands for this development, Las Estancias, beckoning one to the old days when this was a farm in a Spanish land grant. As building pads fill in, and the homes are built in the new pecan orchard at the far end, it will only help a once-deflated part of town.

These parking lot planters and the adjacent ponding slope alternate from Vitex into Chinese Pistache and masses of Deergrass.

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Mesic Low, Xeric High

I always say this, because it’s the natural world’s model.

Modeling design on how water moves with gravity pays off with successful landscapes.

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Xeric plants are on top where the sandy loam grains sharply, but in the basin which floods briefly and the soil stays moist longer. It’s similar to a broad arroyo in the general hydrology.

There, I used mesic Celtis reticulata and Prosopis pubescens plus seeding.

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On that high area, there are some volunteers of the very xeric, sandy soil specialist Psorothamnus scoparius.

This basin or ponding area isn’t the most aesthetic part of my design or the overall development, but it’s required so excessive runoff from development can safely exit properties. Usually such areas are fenced in with chain link, inside only bare dirt kept free of plants or covered in rock kept free of plants.

Here, arroyo plants absorb that extra water and provide habitat for wildlife. More attractive and productive than barbed wire, chain link and rock.

Another view of the basin below.

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8/13/17 weather: 89 / 68 / T