Key Areas, Intensity Missing

To a drive-by, these key areas have impact. But do they have the impact designed into them originally?

This worked, especially with the Yucca faxoniana, but I cannot ignore the large bare stretch by the Rhus lanceolata.

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The original wildflowers are gone at the far left end among the agaves, and the low evergreen Ericameria laricifolia missing from the near, right.

Yet holding their ground and defining the space nicely with the other plants missing, the yuccas and the framed yuccas with Nolina greenei behind both work. The low Rhus lanceolata in front defines the space for drivers, too.

Looking forward towards the yuccas and beargrasses more closely…

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My design had more shrubs and so did that post-installation view, than exists now.

Maintenance is usually some of the reason, with drip irrigation not re-buried correctly, as periodic erosion occurs.

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So was installation: the developer’s field person let me know about his waiving the contractor’s occasional errors in plant and even drip emitter placement, compared to what my plans specified.

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8/15/17 weather: 92 / 64 / 0.00

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

Color Spots

Tired of cool-colored Leucophyllum?

Well, I almost am, but cool colors are welcome here. By the end of our hot, week-long monsoon season break, most of the flowers went away.

But before the drying, do you see the flowering?

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Small trees were used lower, near the entry into the first phase of the development. Here it was Rhus lanceolata, to add interest to the pedestrian use of yuccas.

Here’s your color at the intersection.

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Masses of color work, but so does the special feeling of an unexpected spot of color.

Looking south from the rear view mirror angle and the front windshield view. It’s subtle, but subtle often makes more of an impact, especially with the juxtaposition of my design using boulders and plant forms.

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Sparse or spiky, then color, then more sparse and spiky. The gravel groundplane dominating with Dasylirion wheeleri and Aristida purpurea, then Leucophyllum zygophyllum and Yucca faxoniana dominate the gravel ground plane.

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8/11/17 weather: 98 / 73 / 0.75