Stunning Verticals

While I rely on ample evergreen plants in my 2 dormant season climate, I also rely on contrast. Light / shadow, soft / sharp.

These recent scenes should help illustrate why.


My Saturday breakfast ritual, as near-native Nolina microcarpa tangles its coarse foliage into adapted (?) Echinopsis species from South America and Astrophytum species from deep in Mexico.


Gray concrete container, dark brown wall in the shade, bright green, and intense spination.


On a hazy day with pesky high clouds clearing later, the 8 foot Cylindropuntia imbricata looks formidable.



Road run-off and time for Yucca faxoniana near Valentine TX. A year later, needless effort by TxDOT. It’s hard to look at that.

With chlorophyll production halted on an old yucca, I hope it recovers.


That Agave salmiana or A. ferox row in Marfa compensated.  The background a clean-up chore for some new, starry-eyed property owners.


Back home, native Dasylirion wheeleri in its winter look at an old development entry project.

Are three better than one?

Do blue-green and spiky add interest on a blah day, with winter’s hills of creosotes in olive-drab?



3/3/18 weather:
75F36F / .00″ or 24c / 2c / .00 mm


Dissecting Retail: Three Years After

At El Paso’s Kern Place Crazy Cat Cyclery store, the architect and I created some small but distinct spaces using our ubiquitous rock walls with grade changes.

It won an AIA El Paso award a couple years ago.


That enclosed, communal space with a single Quercus fusiformis and some Yucca pallida is good. It’s mostly being maintained well, too.



The far side that once contained a rather “seasoned” Yucca torreyi specimen, then it fell, and finally the yucca’s replacement, is not so good.



The small spaces on the side will fill in more, as the sotols grow and damianitas hopefully reseed around.


I still regret not insisting on what should have been done on the south street’s uphill climb.

Because mountain biking and good headlamps are important, so is good plantsmanship.


12/25/17 weather: 7331 / .00″

The Horizontals and the Verticals

“Small gestures get lost out here.” – Kornegay


That scene along US-90 says much with Torrey Yucca, Texas Beargrass, and dry, pre-monsoon season grama grasses.

This Alpine mural with local ranch brands says something similar.



From Alpine back to Marfa, colors and forms without one flower.



Of course a Volvo is parked at the building of this word mural!



“When no one else can, a Mexi(can)!” – many before me


I wonder where those tall and heavy South American cacti are headed?

Almost home, a quick drive-by detour.