Native, Annual Grass

I need to confirm with my next-door neighbor and his rain gauge, just how wet it’s been in 2017. My guess is at least 10 inches of rain, which is over 2 inches or 25% above average, but for the entire year – and we have 2 months left.

Below, the same tan grass now was a green carpet over most every hill here.

Six Weeks Grama / Bouteloua barbata is a common, native annual grass in the southwest.

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We had another 1 inch or even more in a late night downpour and more lightning than I’ve seen in a couple years. But no matter how much falls, Six Weeks Grama will not re-germinate – the temperatures are cooling into fall levels, and that grass only seems to germinate in late summer and no other time.

As long as native grasses don’t grow too rangy or leggy in key areas, I just assume keep them for aesthetics and function.

Even as an annual, this grama does a good job holding in the loose soils here with their roots, while gravel mulch can only cover the soil and soften the blows of wind and hard rain. Gravel cannot root.

My fingers are crossed for restraint in such areas.

The tan really creates a good visual contrast to the greens of Yucca faxoniana and Larrea tridentata.

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Bold Flora and Fauna in Marfa

On my first morning’s walk, I found no fresh croissants or anything baked at Farmstand Marfa. Not in the mood for tamales at breakfast either.

This car and the wall with evenly-spaced Salvia plants compensated.

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I like the car’s color, though I often see drivers of these Chargers act like too many who have European sports cars and SUVs…no turn signal, cutting corners, and all things offensive.

But for this post, I’ll trust they’re much better than that!

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Any ID on this Salvia? Anyone? Email me if you know!

Salvia penstemonoides was one guess emailed to me, but that one’s flowers are reddish.

Another online search reveals this could be a variety of Salvia leucantha / Mexican Bush Sage. Given the garden wall is about 36″ tall including the cap, my vote is it is not one of the dwarf varieties.

White, Blue, Green

There’s solace in certain places, and a large part of that is the meeting of function and form. Some of that involves certain colors.

I’m about to channel Tara Dillard right now!

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Many buildings in Marfa are white or off-white, skies are often blue, and there is a healthy embrace of native plants including green Desert Candle and Torrey Yucca. Either may be spiky to anyone and even unfriendly to the uninitiated, but they are green for little green in water or money.

I think that white, blue, and green are Marfa’s color trinity.

This Piñon tree is easy on the eyes with the building and sky.

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The off-white, utilitarian building is stunning by not just the art installation inside it. The blue sky and it’s reflection on the glass panes is part, and the green, post-monsoon season look of the wild Blue Grama grasses provides the finish.

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A designer I really respect insists that plants are icing on the cake.

I beg to differ, and modify that some: flowers are icing on the cake. Make sure there is massing of foliage, show off the sky, and make a simple backdrop.