Memorial in May

This is one of three El Paso hospitals I worked on with HKS, in that 2014 to 2016 whirlwind of renovations and new construction for Tenet Healthcare: The Hospitals of Providence Memorial Campus.

It looks great in evening light or even at night, but I also must stop by for a look in the early morning.


Years later, this project is in ongoing maintenance. It’s great to see the solo Parkinsonia x ‘Desert Museum’ full and in bloom, without any topping or chopping.

I hope to encourage some gentle pruning of low and crossing interior branches. It’s all that’s needed!

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Hopefully, I can also get the masses of Bouteloua gracilis grasses to be cut back to the ground instead of mounded, leaving stubble, and only every few years – not annually. There’s no need to do more, as has been done.

The green form of Leucophyllum spp. is being left to grow naturally. A victory!

More than one person I know was either born at this hospital or received care here, and I hope this revives any feelings of care received.

Too bad the seat walls along the sidewalk along Oregon Street were deleted from the contract. Now with the bus lines and landscaping, even without enough trees, those would provide a resting stop walking between the bus, streetcar, or just up the long incline to UTEP.

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I’m just not used to seeing this and other hospitals with hardly any people parked out front or in the parking lot like our post-March 2020 mayhem about COVID-19. Since the saying is how everyone is “sheltering in place”.

Of course, the artist’s sculpture trees look good, too, especially without a few more pesky trees from my original design, which would have somehow blocked their visibility from the street…

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5/15/20 weather:
87F / 55F / 0 or 31c / 13c / 0 

DIY Adobe: A Flagstone Patio?

This flagstone patio relates to little else anywhere on Bill’s property, but that’s fine!

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Existing before he bought his home, this patio adjoins the front door patio via a step down in elevation, though it’s mostly visible only near the house.

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The simple patio begs for a place to sit, once the young boxwoods and other plantings in front grow to form more enclosure and further separation from the sidewalk. Its elegant, rectilinear shape with its cut pattern is superior to the more typical flagstone work in the back garden area.

With that planting plus the small area, it doesn’t need the usual “Cristiani seat wall.”

It can take on its own life as another living space by adding chairs and possibly a small table. Only some leveling of the individual stones would be required to provide a more firm surface across it.

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2/11/20 weather:
49F / 28F / 0.60 in (1/2 in snow) or 9c / -2c / 15.2 mm (1 cm snow)

Inner El Paso

A coworker and I were in El Paso, to learn about their proposed Paso del Norte Trail. Our El Camino Real Corridor work and New Mexico’s Rio Grande Trail all have potential to link their system to the Colorado border.

The entry planters to the Hotel Indigo are still there, though I’m unsure about these plants’ health.


A former coworker who’s now a planner with the City of El Paso was in attendance, and we surprised him.

The view from where the Paso del Norte Trail boards and meet-and-greet event were held. A 5th floor pool and patio area the bar and restaurant open to, revealing attractive plantings, hardscape, places to sit, and an elevated view of downtown.

Yucca torreyi and cacti in a hip planter setting finish this off.


Walking back to my car, this parking garage mural is by my former neighbor Dave “Grave” Herrera. He also works part-time at the hotel, when not involved with his creations. He was glad to see us when we arrived.


Of course, there was a hearty meal in the way home.


That baked potato with a heaping of brisket was almost 1 foot long. I took half home!


2/3/18 weather: 7336 / .00″