I am grateful for this chance to get a glimpse of the practice in a completely different context than the east coast landscapes to which I'm accustomed. One of the designers talked to me about a project of theirs in an east coast setting, and she kept using the word "lush" - she was amazed at the variety and vibrancy of the plants and designing spaces with them. In the meantime, I was considering what it means to practice landscape architecture and urban design in a place without trees, shrubs and gazillions of perennials that grow to fill a space in just a few years. It made me think that landscape architecture in such a context is more akin to sculpture: space creation using the form of the land itself as the only medium. Of course, that's always a part of landscape architecture and, in fact, grading and designing with topography has always been one of my favorite aspects of the design process. There's so much that can be done, so many types of environments and emotions and conditions created with just a few steps or slopes or walls. But I've always considered it in context of the four-dimensional growth of the trees (particularly) as well as the shrubs and perennials: what kinds of qualities can be created in different seasons and as the years pass. I like this context though: without the lush plants, the design and landscape need to be evocative. The land is brutally honest and the harshness cannot be quickly softened away behind quickly growing foliage. Don't get me wrong, lushness can't fix a poor design, and it's obviously more complex than that: of course there are trees and plants that grow in Colorado and are included in designs here. And I love my lushness - in undergrad a class memorizing several hundred native & ornamental tree species that grew in NC was perhaps my favorite. But I enjoyed considering the challenge that designing in this context poses. It's food for further thought.