This Las Cruces spring may have begun in January. We shared neighboring El Paso’s warmest December-February in over 100 years of records. 2 weeks actually felt like winter, 2 days here and there – little winter to walk off.
Here’s what I saw on my block Saturday 3/18/2017, 84F and no humidity:
figured the owners are part-time residents from western Washington, and Opuntia microdasys…closet aficionados?
Pinus edulis and Quercus fusiformis thriving in our sandy-gravelly soil
my hood borders a golf course…yes, broad and heavily-irrigated bluegrass fairways
But how about this backdrop of floating mountains…every day I drive to work.
A good example of Pueblo Revival architecture, and her metal work of our town’s three cross symbol is a contemporary take on tradition.
Chilopsis linearis leafing out – this one waits until after the last frost to leaf out, so maybe we’re done?
a great Fouquieria splendens, but the ties are a bit “That 70’s Show”
My neighborhood is mostly retired midwesterners of a different cloth than the retirees in my former ABQ hood. The plants speak loudly.
My spread-out neighborhood was developed in the 1980’s on desert sand hills immediately above the fertile Rio Grande Valley, where chiles, pecans, onions, and cotton rule. Though Las Cruces is the 2nd largest town in New Mexico, outside downtown and the Mesilla Plaza it is of a rural to suburban scale.
Always with those jagged Organ Mountains, which often resemble a western movie backdrop.
Fouquieria splendens is about to burst forth with red blooms.
In my travels the consistently tallest and fullest Ocotillo grow between about 2000-4500 feet in the high deserts. Like here.
the Pinus eldarica forest look is a bit out of character for desert sand hills, but plenty of Ferocactus and other spikiness to ground to our place
good container cluster as a focal point down the driveway
up the street, Eschscholzia mexicana were seeded in and going bezerk…even the oddly-trimmed Dasylirion wheeleri is OK
their wind chime farm is really intense, indicating how many cookoo clocks and plates on walls inside?
cool wall begging for the planting to be renovated
There are less palms in my neighborhood than many, though there are still plenty. The ever-tough Washingtonia filifera are the most common.
at the end of my street, ugh – those were Leucophyllum frutescens
preserved desert on some fairway edges, out of bounds…typical sand scrub with Yucca elata, Psorothamnus scoparius, etc
like “no dogs allowed” for Snoopy and Charlie Brown
the start of the fairway that extends behind my house
Among the vernacular rock walls in town, some are mortared a little better. Definitely not the craftsmanship here to emulate the amazing dry stack walls typical in, say, New England. But this dry-look mortared garden wall isn’t shabby.
Less fettered by brown stucco and Pueblo Revival styles than where I lived in ABQ, there are some good Desert Contemporary designs here.
Even if a bit neglected.
the entry needs some softening…some very savvy architects err on harsh as bad as some plant people err on unkempt chaos
I really like these steps, but I never walked them after too many drinks…an Egyptian quality, plus great shading on the upper portal
Thuja chinensis, Rhapiolepis indica, and Ilex vomitoria are all mainstays that take most any torture of the high desert
a Organ Mountains-native Nolina greenei peeking up top
little chance of mildew for Euonymus japonica, on this bed of rock open to wind and facing S
even rock salt concrete, used more in ABQ than here
FYI – this neighborhood, like many others in this price range in my region of the US, have NO walkability. Every day I see residents walking along the curbs, in competition with speeding contractor trucks, drivers texting, and so on.
Any sidewalks are usually just the frontage of 1 or 2 houses, in hopes of more.
Good thing my neighbors are alert, though most are 60+ years old. I also enjoy that the majority are friendly and sophisticated, and it’s only 10 minutes of rural driving to work.
steep driveways, and many yards with too-few plants
Photinia x fraseri with those cool coppery new leaves, and those nasty-looking flowers
a New Mexico Territorial house, but with a great portal to shade the south-facing glass…the carved columns are a detail mostly seen in Taos, at the opposite end of NM from here
The last few houses…
such a blank slate to work with
Echinocereus coccineus waiting for the hummingbirds
some neighbors call this “the chalet”
Imagine this contemporary Pueblo style house, but with plantings used well.
The circle of vegetation was retained for my neighbors and I, plus our cluster mailbox. The house I’m renting has the white garage door, and the small mountain behind me is 4900’+ Picacho Mountain. I smile each time I see it.
Before the summer monsoon rains made the access road off limits to my Toyota Corolla, I hiked up it many times.
That’s as close as you get to my house, which has no garden anyway!
Here’s a link to others’ winter walk-offs and Les’ blog post, which I missed.
but he might not be doing a winter walk-off post?