Repetition

Different methods use similar elements to create continuity.

Repetition, rhythm, massing, and echoes are just a few design principles among many. Design principles are easily and repeatedly observed in an array of creative fields that people respond to: visual arts, horticulture, and music included.

It is that simple!

Any design principles noted, in the below median or parkway?

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Aristida purpurea, volunteered from the seeding specified on the plans, is now in its autumnal tan.

Agave neomexicana does the same within the parkway’s Aristida.

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Nearby, Dasylirion wheeleri was repeated. Its color and spent bloom stalks, plus a similar look of Agave parryi, help unify the scene.

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10/24/17 weather: 71 / 42 / 0.00

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Care for What Can’t be Bought

When wild land is developed, plants once native to that site often recolonize the construction scars alongside new landscaping.

Can you see where that occurred below?

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In arid desert (my examples) or even semi-arid steppes, conditions are especially harsh for that regrowth.

Some plants rapidly heal such scars, while others take decades, if at all. The concern here is plants native to the site, not invasives.

Purple Threeawn / Aristida purpurea var. longiseta is the golden-green carpet barely forming the reddish fringes and seed heads. A few Sunflower / Helianthus spp. are in there, plus some invasive annuals (kochia?). Areas of gold-flowering, mat-like Pectis angustifolia / Limoncillo are present, too.

This side of the road was mown or herbicided to eradicate the above natives, which control erosion better than gravel while providing other functions, habitat value, and aesthetics.

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The Soaptree or Palmilla / Yucca elata were installed per plan, while natives alongside installed plants including the creosote bush stand were somehow not removed during road construction.

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Often such recolonizing plants are considered attractive, but they aren’t for sale. People often ask me, “ooh, what’s that?” in admiration.

Those attributes demonstrate what such plants are: priceless.

Therefore, they should not be removed in the first place; if they are removed allow them to stay, but selectively weed out invasives.

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On the opposite side of the street, the tan grass clumps are the same Purple Three Awn, but these don’t get eradicated and not a carpet.

What a difference and for the better, on the far side of the street.

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While protecting areas from unnecessary disturbance is usually more economically-sound and better, site development disconnected to the land is where maintenance skill and client savvy really must meet.

9/6/17 weather: 89 / 64 / 0.00

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. Not to mention the low wall the developer deleted.

Maintenance is usually some of the reason, with drip irrigation not re-buried correctly, as periodic erosion occurs. More changes hit during installation.

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8/15/17 weather: 92 / 64 / 0.00