Over time, gardens change. This house was built in 1998, and since, plants have grown, others died, and ideas have been refined.
As the designer, I won't change and compromise it like some clients have (boo, hiss!), but rather, to improve it. Will it reach finality?
Feel free to chime in with your ideas!
As I watered in new Nolina texana and Penstemon baccharifolius, weeds responded. But some installed plants, grasses and wildflowers, and those from nearby vacant land, also volunteered in. That's my cue.
The wispy grasses will be transplanted. The smaller forbs are mostly unwanted and will be removed. All will be neat again.
Neat, structured, yet naturalistic; not like a hospital, but balance.
I won't have to buy or special order this bunch grass, native to all mountain bajadas from here to El Paso, and over many areas of the intermountain west's deserts, onto the great plains steppes and up to the sub-humid prairies.
So, what was here? No time to show each year, but the decade's shift follows. Some plants grew, others grew but were damaged by the record freeze and drought, others reseeded to a fault, and others died.
6/2012, looking W -
It's time to clean up and "cherry it out" better than ever. I noted transplanting all Purple Threeawn to the parkway. Plus -
+ weed out undesirables and invasive non-natives
+ slow and use stormwater flowing downhill - water harvesting
+ define entry better, the gate out to the street
At the concrete slab by the curb, I may add an Opuntia subarmata on either side, to relate to the one in the yellow pot. Those might be planted in the ground to add evergreen structure to the grasses, or be placed in matching pots to do the same but add height. I'll have to prune those Opuntia to keep them in-bounds, but like O. engelmannii, they get huge; may as well use the same species.
I also have many Agave neomexicana pups and countless young volunteers of Penstemon parryi and P. eatonii, that can be added at only the cacti, or to intersperse between the grasses. Thoughts?
6/2012, looking N -
More native grasses are here; Fluffgrass / Erioneuron pulchellum in front can be relocated into more natural areas N of the house.
The parkway does not afford rare, hard rain to soak or flow in like it could. The granite and weed fabric used in 1998 to match other homes is OK. But the fabric does not prevent weeds; I knew that, but chose to pick my battles then; no developer or builder to answer to now.
I'll pull the rock out and stockpile it on the sidewalk, dispose of the weed fabric, and remove soil to create a 6" to 9" deep swale down the middle; I'll spread it on low spots on the lot. Every 10-15 feet, I'll try to slow the water flowing downhill, such as with buried CMU block..there's probably too much bedrock at the grade for buried hay bales.
After planting the grasses and cacti, I'll put back the stockpiled granite. But no point in June! I'll wait for the cooler 90F and higher humidity of the monsoon season to attack it, repairing the landscape lighting first.