Unpruned Abundance

While our sun is as fiercely hot as ever, temperatures are cooling and the humidity is up. So are the flowers.

You’ll notice none of these plants have been sheared into submission, even one with too little space!

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Calliandra x Sierra Starr above (?), Leucophyllum below.

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And the most common here, plain-old Leucophyllum frutescens. They even smell good.

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Their fleeting presence in extreme temperatures and dryness can keep flowers from being the backbone of a desert southwest landscape. But as flowers respond to our seasonal weather cycles, flowers are one of the best impacts, though brief.

8/3/17 weather: 91 / 67 / 0.00

Terraces and Barriers

It was the end of a long day visiting the southernmost section of El Camino Real de Adentro in New Mexico.

I turned around at the south end of our county near the workplaces of two friends.

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Husband Robert runs the restaurant with his sister, while wife Jennifer runs a 4 person landscape architecture practice; they live in adjacent El Paso. And they are often starting a new project on their land hugging the railroad tracks and Mexican border.

Jenn is checking out her Agave ocahui.

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We’ll just ignore the invasive Pennisetum sactaceum…for now.

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Otherwise, really good details and thinking all over this property. Speaking of which, this is where I stayed a number of times before moving down. It’s now a bridal suite.

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I think these agaves in nursery pots were in front of their house in town – 3 years ago. Will they get planted…ever?

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I really enjoy the few who make a difference by example. Then, responding accordingly with creativity.

7/26/17 weather: 95 / 70 / 0.00

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