Streetscape Surprise

When I drove up through blocks of typical streetscapes one toasty afternoon, I had long forgotten a few curious plants here.

Giant Sacaton / Sporobulus wrightii softens Goldenrain Tree.



Streetscape plantings in Albuquerque are slowly improving, though not quite as good as where I now live in Las Cruces. A few great plants made it into this design, even though too scattered for a 45-55 mph road where one needs massing of few species, not quick, clumpy spots.

Presenting 1 of a few of that fine foothills native, Quercus grisea / Gray Oak:



Now, the story of another great native tree and a not-so-great hybrid of that same species. The original is healthy in back, Desert Willow. The faux hybrid is in its typical declining state in front, Chitalpa.



Back to a group of Goldenrain Tree and Giant Sacaton as sunset comes on, plus a fast shot of moisture bringing needed downpours.



Falling Down, or Not Sure?

My colleagues, those who are good or those who need a career change / move, all have different ideas on tree stakes.

This Quercus muhlenbergii is one of many on Engler Road which is happy, sturdy, and rooted for over 3 years.


What weren’t the staking and the floating tie all removed?

Is there a kind of magic levitation going on? I’m sure my plans including the maintenance sheet direct the stakes and ties to all be removed 1 year after planting. These are clearly finished with their service!


Thanks, carry on!!


This Yucca rostrata x thompsoniana fell into the floriferous Anisacanthus quadrifidus var. wrightii, and it’s in need of straightening.


Unless you walk this area, you might never notice anything fallen.


7/13/17 weather: 9870 / T

Streetscape Awakens

My house hunt is starting. Per regional custom with posted hours, the open house closed almost 2 hours early, which I drove miles out of my way to see. But now there was time to spare.

Time to visit a recent landscape design – Engler Road streetscapes, taken 3/5/2017:


Soils at this site are caliche with some gravels on top, which inhibits roots from developing and limits plant choices. Hopefully the medians depressed 12″ will percolate in some extra rain water, to help.

The 20 or so Cercis canadensis var. texensis specified are now taking to dusty New Mexico.


The gloomy day didn’t help the tan tones including the shrubs in back, allowed to stay – I specified green-leafed Leucophyllum langmaniae instead of the gray L. zygophyllum that we ended up with.

Also doing well are the yuccas and grasses, somehow magically left un-shaped into balls last November when they went dormant. My maintenance plan was followed here but not everywhere in this development.

Got me!


A few Yucca rostrata punctuate the repetitive mass of Bouteloua gracilis, like the effect one gets driving those restorative stretches of open road around Marfa or Carrizozo.

It just takes a few of these accents, which will soon accent the skyline.


The yellow leaf margins on the yucca are a detail I often forget about. And the state grass of New Mexico, Blue Grama, is coming alive.


Many green shoots are responding to the ground and air temperatures warming, even if a few weeks early. With all our mountains  protecting us, my guess is even if we get one of those freak March or April snowstorms and some more freezes (our last frost date averages April 1), few or none will be hard freezes below 28F, when the serious damage occurs.