For the last few weeks I’ve been meaning to stop at the street corner shown in the photos below to take a closer look at a very peculiar landscaping project.
I’m baffled by what it is, or what it is supposed to be. Xeric landscaping à la Mad Max? A botanical tableau vivant in a post apocalyptic world? Or just a weird patriotic statement (after all, the plants are Agave americana)?
I can’t even tell if it’s a work in progress or if it’s finished.
Just beyond the agaves are dead-looking palm trees tightly wrapped in plastic and festooned with plastic flowers.
Just as baffling is the array of hoses. What exactly is being irrigated?
The driveway this unique installation is on doesn’t go very far.
But at least I find the likely source of the three agaves at the corner. It’s odd to see this huge clump of Agave americana in a sea of weeds and just beyond it a brand new Chase bank building.
Further down the broken road is an oasis of palm trees that looks like a Fata Morgana in the desert.
If you’ve ever driven through Davis on Interstate 80, you’ve seen this stand of palm trees. I’ve been wondering for 15+ years what the building was but I never stopped until today.
There is a non-descript sign with a company name but it isn’t immediately clear what the company does. I hear the X Files theme music playing in my head.
The parking lot is deserted but I spot two well-groomed Agave americana.
I wonder if they, too, come from the massive clump behind the new Chase building?
I’m no wiser as to who created the bizarre installation at the corner or whether the mysterious building in the palm oasis has anything to do with it. But often the questions are more interesting than the answers, so I’m not too desperate to find out.
UPDATE: The garden installation at the corner is the creation of a homeless man named George Swazo. He previously had a makeshift garden closer to downtown. Click here and here for more information. Kudos to George for making a barren spot more interesting.