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.


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



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.



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


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.


12/25/17 weather: 7331 / .00″


Across from Trader Joe’s

My semi-annual provisions runs just get better. I feel like I’m shopping in my ecoregion. Weird? Not.



I’m glad someone other than me up there used the fine Quercus muhlenbergii.


The cacti, containers with Hesperaloe funifera, and in-ground Vauquelinia californica require only minor maintenance in accordance with the plant type, at a similar frequency as my visits.

The satisfaction of simple pruning and care gives more than it takes.


Could it be worse? Yes.

But I’m not into apathy and excuses, so my bar is higher, yet it requires barely more effort and intellect.

And leave the cochineal on the Opuntia ellisiana, it’s not just for the deep red dye it makes!


Have You Seen a Sophora Like This?

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


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.



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



12/18/17 weather: 47 / 38 / .01″