Dissecting Retail: Three Years After

At El Paso’s Kern Place Crazy Cat Cyclery store, the architect and I created some small but distinct spaces using our ubiquitous rock walls with grade changes.

It won an AIA El Paso award a couple years ago.

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That enclosed, communal space with a single Quercus fusiformis and some Yucca pallida is good. It’s mostly being maintained well, too.

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The far side that once contained a rather “seasoned” Yucca torreyi specimen, then it fell, and finally the yucca’s replacement, is not so good.

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The small spaces on the side will fill in more, as the sotols grow and damianitas hopefully reseed around.

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I still regret not insisting on what should have been done on the south street’s uphill climb.

Because mountain biking and good headlamps are important, so is good plantsmanship.

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12/25/17 weather: 7331 / .00″

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Home Take 3

I found a home after much looking.

The existing adobe I placed an offer on gave me a counter offer out of line for the neighborhood and future redo of owner “touches”. So, a couple weeks ago my realtor and I executed a contract for a home built to LEED Platinum standards, including total solar power.

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front looking east (porta-potty not included)
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front looking west (new construction all around like my ’98-’04)
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back looking east

I’ll do my best to agree with any neighbors’ bad tree choices, so my small view of the Organ Mountains stays in some form! (smile)

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The 4 floor plans I entertained were narrowed down to one with outdoor living space potential.

Shifting the house footprint back a few feet allows a 12 foot square courtyard with a locking gate. Privacy is king. The front kitchen window may be changed to a door, to step out onto a firm, crunchy gravel patio with a few well-placed plants.

North is on the right.

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The 4,337 foot elevation is a touch closer to the sun’s surface than my rental, but the location at the south end of the Jornada basin might put me back in USDA z 7b. But still Sunset z 10. We’ll see.

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My new home happens to be in a development I provided landscape architect services for. Perhaps using xeric Quercus was my unintentional signature?

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Only 8 months until the house is finishing up!

Have You Seen a Sophora Like This?

If I did meds, I would be taking mine now.

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That greeted me returning from a pre-work hike.

Those Sophora secundiflora ‘Silver Sierra’ plants will now produce few if any flowers this coming spring, since the flower buds were cut off in the process of shaping.

If there’s much more counterproductive maintenance or uninformed direction, those ‘Silver Sierra’ Texas Mountain Laurel plants will have their life spans shortened from removing too much live foliage or heading off live growth too often.

This is what a typical form of Sophora secundiflora looks like, without flower buds removed from over-shaping.

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On a positive note, this is the natural context of their development, 45 minutes earlier. Gracious to rugged terrain, with no bad shaping ideas.

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12/18/17 weather: 47 / 38 / .01″