Flowers, Art, and the Bizarre

Santa Fe offers lots of art galleries, flowers in yards and in public places, churches, and totally unexpected venues.

A walk down Canyon Road on a cool evening is a pleasant activity.  There’s plenty to see.  The red orange flowers are Yarrow.

Art galleries abound and have nice displays outside.  Since I know the prices are crazy expensive for the paintings and statutes, I am more interested in the plants, many of which I can’t identify.

The Mexican Feather Grass to the right of the seated Indian statue is an popular stand-by in our area of Texas.


Don’t know which variety of salvia this is, but it’s a beautiful deep purple.  The yellow Columbine looks like butterflies darting around.

Clever Rock, Paper, Scissors sculpture.

Many yards have Hollyhocks, which are lovely and reseed plentifully.

Red Hot Poker plants (Kniphofia reflexas or Kniphofia uvaria) add some pizzazz to this bed.

Like the look of a stone flowerpot.

Love all the bronze sculptures in Santa Fe, especially the ones of children.

Plants can be crammed into the smallest spaces.

We visited a bizarre attraction.  Forgive the blurred picture.  Meow Wolf is a 20,000 square foot experience entertainment business.  One enters different rooms via fire places, refrigerators, closets, etc.

New openings of Meow Wolf in Denver and Las Vegas will be in the near future.  The Santa Fe location generated $9 million last year.  The gift shop and online store gained revenue of over a million dollars.

Lots of neon contributes to the eeriness.  Using mallets, these ‘dinosaur bones’ produced musical tones.

This “ocean” is full of color.

Pressing on a cloth wall triggers more neon.

A jumbled maze of crazy entrances and spaces filled with unique decorations draws visitors into a confusing path with waiting surprises.

The New Mexico state capitol building reflects the adobe buildings of the area and the circular shape represents the Zia sun emblem on the state flag.  It’s very unlike the Texas capitol.

The walls inside the capitol are covered with individual paintings and other art work.  The public is welcome to walk through all the corridors to view the art.

In the center of town, the large old churches are reminders of the mission period in the southwest.  Shown here is The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

There are three museums on Museum Hill.  The bronze statutes all around Santa Fe reinforce the importance of art to the city.

A fun place to visit, Santa Fe offers many unique sights and experiences.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”   Winston Churchill

Santa Fe

Santa Fe, NM is a unique city with a recognizable southwestern look.

Heavily influence by both Mexican and Indian cultures, this city has blended them both into a unique style.

Adobe buildings might seem to be the style of choice.  But, in fact, a city ordinance requires that all buildings use both these materials and style.  Flat roof and flat, smooth stucco sides are characteristics of this style.

Many native plants are seen throughout the city.  I think this is Spanish Broom (Spartium junceum).

Santa Fe has been in an extended drought period.  Large lawns are taboo.  Only small accent lawn areas can be found.  In fact, most lot sizes for houses are small.

Another common sight is this type of fence.  I don’t know if that’s because it’s inexpensive or if the style is just popular.

Stone fences, patios, and walkways are ubiquitous.  It’s a readily available material, but not sure about construction costs.  Wonder how old this mailbox is?  Another modern one near the gate is in current use.

Many fences of all types are covered with vines, like this Clematis.

Smoketree or Purple Smoke Bush (Cotinus coggygria) has a mysterious look.  This one has already lost the smoke puffs on the ends of the branches.

Yarrow is a popular accent plant.

Ox Carts from Mexico or Costa Rica are used as decorations.

Flower beds abound.

Art Galleries are a big draw for tourists.  In the early 1900’s Anglo artists moved into the area and were fascinated by the people, the landscape, the arid climate, the colors, and the light.

This followed the earlier artist colonies that had formed in the late 1800’s in nearby Taos.  By the early 1920’s, prominent artists were producing varied styles of art in both places.  Thus began the art scene that continues today.

Sculptures and paintings from traditional to modern are available.

Old doors from Mexico, clay pots, carved wood pieces, jewelry, and other collectables are plentiful.  The only drawback might be the price of a particular item.

In an isolated area with congested traffic downtown, this city is still worth the visit.

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”   Thomas Edison

Adobes and Art

Onwards to the last leg of our trip.  We travel through the arid area of northern New Mexico:

newmexico5The red sandstone formations are fascinating; at least, to me.

newmexico4For miles and miles, that’s the scenery.  A few scattered cedars dot the land.

chamiseThen we started to see these bushes – Chamisa or Rubber Rabbit-brush (Ericameria nauseosa).  Rubber Rabbit-brush – really?  They are obviously drought tolerant.

chamise2Personally, I think they’re pretty.  They are listed as good for zones 7a and b.  I gathered some seeds but don’t know if they would be too invasive here.

NMexAs evening approaches, the shadows creates a more varied landscape.

NMex2Night brings us to our destination:  Santa Fe.  It’s a somewhat central location for my sisters, their spouses and my mother to meet for a long week-end reunion.

NMex6We rented two houses, side by side, in order to have a comfortable visiting space.

The strong Spanish flavor makes Santa Fe unique.  The founding name was La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis (The Royal Town of the Holy Faith of St. Francis Assisi) and was established as a province of New Spain.

Throw in the Pueblo people who lived in what is now the downtown square area, and who fought against the Spaniards trying to reclaim their space, and the native American culture is in the mix.  The history gets more complex with the new Republic of Texas, after it won independence from Mexico, claiming ownership of Santa Fe.

NMex5If you like adobe houses, this is your place.

NMex8Fall colors make even this telephone pole a piece of art.

NMex9As we walk to the Art District with its numerous galleries, photo shots jump out at me.


NMexbI think this is a Locust Bean Tree.

NMexcSanta Fe galleries have some exquisite sculptures.

NMexdAn early cowgirl stares into space.

NMexeSince I’m not knowledgeable about grasses, I can’t even guess at their names.

NMexfNMexgTaking a rest on the ground, this larger than life sculpture gets everyone’s attention.

NMexhLoved these whirligigs.  But since they are art displays in the expensive Art District, they were way out of my price range.

NMexiWith a few blooms remaining, this might be a plumbago.

This is the last of the travelogue posts.  Thanks for sticking with me and reading about our trip.

“Angels come to paint the desert nightly
While the moon is gleaming brightly
Along the Santa Fe Trail,”

Sung by the Sons of the Pioneer