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

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

Colonia or Community

Home to 35+ colonias as designated by the federal government, our county and area is in need of continued planning efforts, plus escape from the extremes of apathy and gentrification.

That takes a moral compass that’s stronger than politics.

Let’s take a quick drive south. Crossing the Rio Grande, the banks lined with Salix exigua as far as the thunderheads build.

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Principal-centered folks will be part of the solution, helping turn colonias into communities. These are opportunities for where people already live.

Entering tiny San Miguel, adobe row buildings define NM-28.

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The nicest woman who I assume owns the market helped me, after the younger woman in front of me was sharing her day in Spanglish!

Older, she spoke of how this time of the year – the monsoon season – “we want the rain but now we don’t.” My guess is 2006 and 2008 are fresh in the minds, not to mention the 2-3 inches of rain that fell the night before.

Water used well and problems becoming made the solutions are a low-cost, high value solution – green infrastructure. So is getting people to take pride in what they have or could have.

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These houses are growing tomatoes and other plants for themselves.

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We can redevelop better so water after our every-other-day downpours is put to use.

Shade is the first thing that comes to mind, but I have many others including public spaces for residents and tourists alike, with maintenance programmed in.

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At about 50 miles of driving, Mount Cristo Rey in the high background is near where I turned my vehicle around; see my previous post.

7/27/17 weather: 89 / 70 / 0.02