Wide Shot – 4/2014

I was sure I captured an overall view of a house around the block from this one, but no such luck. But this should do, from central El Paso –

Mexican Gold Poppy / Eschscholzia mexicana in full bloom

This house has many local and regional decorative trappings – see which ones you can find. Hint, several are a symbol of another state only several miles away.

For now, what really grabbed my view and made me late getting to my office, again!

The poppies in the wild showed no sign of blooming from all my mountain bike rides on the NE side of town where they occur. Yet in this front yard, there they are. Are they hand-watered some? Or is it the extra moisture-holding ability of the gravel?

Mexican Gold Poppy is native to upper desert slopes, often on desert grassland, from southern Arizona into the slopes of the Oscura Mountains on White Sands, to as far as the eastern slopes of the Franklin Mountains here in El Paso.

Ristras! 1 between every pair of posts…

Thanks Heather, for hosting this Wide Shot meme at your blog – here.


High Desert for Azalea

With our high elevation sun, cold dry winter winds, dry heat in the warm season, and heavily alkaline soils, azaleas are no option for spring flower pwoer. Our irrigation water can approach one step less alkaline than sea water!

But we can grow great India Hawthorn / Rhaphiolepis indica.

(addition: since my area doesn’t have many deer to eat it to the ground, especially in the middle of town, it can be enjoyed in or out of bloom!)

Photos from today –

on a northwest side…still cool during spring flowering…

Most India Hawthorn are hardy to as cold as USDA z 7b / Sunset z 10a in the intermountain southwest…Albuquerque, El Paso, Sierra Vista, Las Vegas, etc. Organic or inorganic mulch OK. Irrigate deeply 1x week once established, less in winter.

but gravel mulch and drip irrigation…not bad for the desert!

Cram-it: El Paso Edition

Last fall, I returned from a rattled mountain bike ride to zip by a home landscape I’d only seen once before. Lo and behold, it’s the home of a local architect, but so different than her office – architecture or garden.

Then again, can’t office and home be related, yet complimentary?

Martina sketched this out about a decade ago, with plants installed over time and edited since – edits are part her ideas / part weather extremes. Her goal was to create a Mediterranean cottage garden, and much is layered and crammed in here – in a good way. She has to do all her maintenance due to the usual lack of horticultural expertise – though no shortage of lame excuses by those who should know better – but she enjoys the mellow, restorative work involved!

Photos from 3/20/2014 – the vernal equinox –

great bones from mature palms and great architecture…

Continue reading “Cram-it: El Paso Edition”