West Texas golden hour and sightseeing Leave a comment

September 16, 2023

I was back in West Texas a week ago to shoot gardens for my forthcoming book (due out spring 2025). Being up at sunrise and staying in gardens until after sunset meant I got to enjoy some beautiful skies every day.

Lavender and mango sunsets were a dime a dozen — and every one was magical under that big sky.

While admiring a wild patch of prickly pear along one Marfa street…

…I got a laugh out of a plaintive bit of graffiti on a stop sign: Stop talking, it reads. As if!

Prada Marfa

Last time I was in Marfa, I missed seeing Prada Marfa, a famous art installation along the highway west of Marfa, near tiny Valentine, Texas. This time I did a drive-by. Yes, it’s amusing to see a faux Prada boutique, with actual Prada shoes and handbags, out in the middle of nowhere. Is it an effective critique of consumerism and gentrification? Or has it become an unironic homage to selfie culture? What do you think?

Presidio County Courthouse

I also climbed up to the dome of the lovely, apricot-colored Presidio County Courthouse in downtown Marfa to take in the views.

Climbing up lots of stairs

Still climbing

At the top! It was like an oven in that airless room, but the views were good. I could see the Marfa water tower and mountains in the distance.

There’s the pink fire station and little park next door.

And there’s Marfa’s main drag with shops, a restaurant or two, and the Hotel Paisano — and sheets of rain in the distance!

Fort Davis

One day I was in Fort Davis and stopped at the Fort Davis National Historic Site to admire the volcanic hills behind the low-slung barracks.

What a dramatic backdrop for the old fort.

I saw several roadrunners and the odd raccoon, rabbit, and coyote along the empty highways of West Texas. But this sighting was the best: a band of javelinas hustling across the blacktop as I approached. See ya, boys!

One more West Texas sunrise.

Up next: I’ll show you the colorful landscaping at The Lincoln, where I stayed while in Marfa.

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Digging Deeper

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance; simply click this link and ask to be added. The Season 7 lineup can be found here.

Tour several Austin gardens on Saturday, November 4, on the Garden Conservancy’s Open Day tour for Travis County. Tickets must be purchased online in advance and will be available beginning September 1st.

All material © 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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