Dion’s 2 Years Later

Night landscape visits in September beat evening visits in July, which is my last time here 2 years ago.

And how Dion’s in Albuquerque’s south valley is maturing.

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The drive-through pickup lane plantings are exactly as envisioned.

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The maintenance has greatly improved, even with some plant substitutions that may be a result of over-watering or other issues previously. How can I tell, since my 2015 visit, when it was relatively weed-free with only smaller plants?

The containers at the key pedestrian entry now look like what I specified in my plan. Summer plantings in the growing season beat winter annuals.

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Vitex agnus-castus / Chaste Tree in alternating, sunken parking lot planters are growing in.

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The “LE” on the monument stands for this development, Las Estancias, beckoning one to the old days when this was a farm in a Spanish land grant. As building pads fill in, and the homes are built in the new pecan orchard at the far end, it will only help a once-deflated part of town.

These parking lot planters and the adjacent ponding slope alternate from Vitex into Chinese Pistache and masses of Deergrass.

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Community College After Hours

While the lighting showing off some of the parking lot trees earlier was gone, enjoy a project I rarely saw at sundown – CNM’s Workforce Training Center.

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The patina roof over the massive bay area is stunning, but so is what happens to the massed use of Dasylirion wheeleri and some Chilopsis linearis trees.

This kind of design and plant choice is so obvious, so easy.

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The last breaths of the monsoon season and those skies are a good backdrop to my old design.

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.