A Spiky Surprise Out Back

I remember this latest strip mall that went up years before I moved from Albuquerque, as a major arterial road was widened.

The street behind it allows neighborhood traffic to access it, without having to drive onto the 55 mph+ Paseo del Norte drag strip. Smart, even if by accident. Of course, this caught my eye.

LaCuevaTC-Retail02c-SML

Also smart are the higher quality, native plantings in the various retail access points as seen above and below. Too bad this palette wasn’t included along the arterial’s more visible access points.

LaCuevaTC-Retail01-SML

.

Just a little maintenance is needed, especially tree pruning, so plantings are healthier and turn more people on to tougher natives.

LaCuevaTC-Retail02a-SML

I enjoy the dueling of two succulents – Dasylirion wheeleri and Nolina microcarpa (?). I’ve never used both in close proximity, but maybe I should give it a try? It really works well here. So does the Cylindropuntia imbricata.

LaCuevaTC-Retail03b-SMLLaCuevaTC-Retail04b-SML

Most Chilopsis linearis produce abundant seed pods, which many tell me is their main objection to this fine, bulletproof native. Cleaning up seed pods might be a good idea, even if tedious.

Then again, removing countless Chilopsis volunteers nearby is tedious!

Advertisements

Color Spots

Tired of cool-colored Leucophyllum?

Well, I almost am, but cool colors are welcome here. By the end of our hot, week-long monsoon season break, most of the flowers went away.

But before the drying, do you see the flowering?

PMStscp-ColSpot03_2017-08-05-SML

Small trees were used lower, near the entry into the first phase of the development. Here it was Rhus lanceolata, to add interest to the pedestrian use of yuccas.

Here’s your color at the intersection.

PMStscp-ColSpot01_2017-08-05-SML

Masses of color work, but so does the special feeling of an unexpected spot of color.

Looking south from the rear view mirror angle and the front windshield view. It’s subtle, but subtle often makes more of an impact, especially with the juxtaposition of my design using boulders and plant forms.

PMStscp-ColSpot02a_2017-08-05-SMLPMStscp-ColSpot02_2017-08-05-SML

Sparse or spiky, then color, then more sparse and spiky. The gravel groundplane dominating with Dasylirion wheeleri and Aristida purpurea, then Leucophyllum zygophyllum and Yucca faxoniana dominate the gravel ground plane.

PMStscp-ColSpot04_2017-08-05-SML

8/11/17 weather: 98 / 73 / 0.75

Borrowed View: To My East

Each day after working around those I must work around, this is what I see once I change into summer clothes and open the blinds.

BorrowView-NeighE1-SML

Sure, the foreground of my rental property lacks. Though the spare look of retained native plants in brown gravel mulch helps – Soaptree clumps and a few Fourwing Saltbush.

The neighbor’s horse fence trellis nicely compliments the space, adding an additional edge to their house, irregular desert plants, and low wall.

More closely, a nicely-framed Sotol is in the shadow of a Desert Willow.

BorrowView-NeighE2-SML

A borrowed view is a powerful design tool, when it’s good.

Even when you borrow it with what you choose to frame, but certainly more when you design frames into such a view.

Just a tempering of our near-record heat to something less obscene, and more flowers are appearing on that Chilopsis linearis.

BorrowView-NeighE3-SML

Though none of this is mine, it’s certainly a nice welcome back to my real life when I get home each day. Or just each day that I’m home.

It is my own view of serenity.

7/8/17 weather: 96 / 65 / 0.00