The Big One: Drama in the desert

August 23, 2019 -  By

Location: Albuquerque, N.M.
Company: Yellowstone Landscape

Mesa del Sol is a mixed-use, master-planned development located outside of Albuquerque, N.M. Yellowstone Landscape has been maintaining the property for just over two and a half years.

As the name suggests, Mesa del Sol is located on top of a mesa. It receives little rainfall and can experience 40-degree temperature swings in a single day.

The landscape features plant material that requires little moisture such as yucca, agave, butterfly bush and catmint perennials. Assorted colors and sizes of gravel accent plants and trees.

The soil in the area is poor quality so teams brought in mycorrhizae, a fungus that adds organic matter to the planting beds, to help tree and plant roots take hold and absorb water.

Irrigation is a challenge in a xeric landscape. When the development was built, water pressure was so low Yellowstone teams used booster pumps to get water through the system. The team now uses a smart irrigation system and makes adjustments based on water collection data from a nearby airport.

The project won the company a 2018 Silver Award from the National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence program.

Planned development (Photo: Yellowstone Landscape)

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

Mesa del Sol is a mixed-use, master-planned development located just outside Albuquerque, N.M.

Mesa del Sol development (Photo: Yellowstone Landscape)

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

A shot of the development.

Mesa del Sol development (Photo: Yellowstone Landscape)

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

The xeric landscape includes an assortment of grasses and native shrubs.

Homes of Mesa del Sol (Photo: Yellowstone Landscape)

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

The first homes of the development are located closest to the town center.

Homes of Mesa del Sol (Photo: Yellowstone Landscape)

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

Portrait Park adds a vibrant splash of green to the desert landscape.

Overview of Mesa del Sol (Photo: Yellowstone Landscape)

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

The neighborhood park and pool are used as recreation areas for residents.

Traffic circle in Mesa del Sol (Photo: Yellowstone Landscape)

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

Native shrubs and multiple colors of gravel accent the playground area.

Pool at Mesa del Sol (Photo: Yellowstone Landscape)

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

With temperatures often exceeding 90 degrees, the community pool is a popular destination for residents during the summer.

Mesa del Sol community (Photo: Yellowstone Landscape)

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

Aperture Plaza’s lawn area includes concrete benches for seating during community events.

Boulevard in Mesa del Sol (Photo: Yellowstone Landscape)

Photo: Yellowstone Landscape

University Boulevard’s wide medians highlight the area’s natural beauty with desert plantings and hardscape elements.

Clara Richter

About the Author:

Comments are currently closed.