Nearby

A large draw to this part of El Paso is being close to so much – nature or going out on the town. And a major university with some interesting plantings, including the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens.

A few weeks ago, I took an hour to walk through it with curator John White. His relaxed demeanor and knowledge are refreshing.

And when it’s only in the mid-80’s on a sunny July day here, what could be better?

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‘Mexican Flame’ Acanthus / Anisacanthus quadrifidus with a well-built rock wall; other fine cultivars of this species are available

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Take A Walk

Two weeks ago, I needed rosemary for the olive oil I was to dip my bread into.

Except I no longer have one rosemary, nor are there any planted around my new, downsized abode! So, I took a foraging walk. I also saw some interesting plants and landscapes within my several block excursion. This time, I returned to take a walk and see more interest within a short walk of my apartment.

Plants and gardens, even architecture, are always game. Some images from my walks Wednesday and last week:

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My apartment building (built in 1903), and a Mexican Fan Palm / Washingtonia robusta that survived the 2/2011 uber-freeze…and gravel on plastic…sigh.

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Clouds + Color

The 2013 monsoon season has been decent – stats here. Our southwestern monsoon is of the same process as the famous one in southern Asia including India, but they have more open ocean (wetter), are closer to the equator (warmer), and the Himalayas dwarf our mountains (more lift to their clouds, more rain).

Leaving Sunset Heights, I go by an architect’s office. That landscape is a basic xeric design, but with less dependence on gravel and more on plantings than others.

When our weather pattern switched early last month – from dry and drier, and hot and hotter – clouds moved in off and on, we had some soaking rains, and everything changed in his plantings, like in the wild.

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Texas Sage / Leucophyllum spp. (AKA Cenizo, Texas Ranger)

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