Prickly pear sculpture, agave art & paper plants


Despite its pretentious name, The Domain shopping center in north Austin is a pleasant place to window shop on a nice day, partly because of the fun, plant-oriented street art visible amid garden beds, built into sidewalks and handrails, and even gracing shop windows. Yesterday I stopped to admire this blue mosaic prickly pear.


Pieces of blue slag glass accent the blue glass tiles.


It’s an artistic representation of Opuntia — rather coral-like, wouldn’t you say?


Along the sidewalk, agave art


And in the shop windows — are those paper phormiums, agapanthus, and ferns?


The paper plants drew my attention more than the clothes.


At the new Lone Star Court, a retro “motel” with a hip vibe that looks like it’s trying to compete with Hotel San Jose on the other side of town, I stopped to admire this steel-edged planter and sign. The landscaping needs a bit of work to achieve the lush southwestern style of Hotel San Jose, however.


Cool signage though

All material © 2006-2014 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

18 Responses

  1. Alison says:

    That Agave mosaic is so cool. And I love the paper plants. What a great mall.

  2. Mark and Gaz says:

    That Agave (Actually we thought it looked more like a juvenile Aloe polyphylla) mosaic caught our eye too!

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What nice plants. These would be the only things available here now. I would love to see that blue mosaic prickly pear rearing out of this snow. A beautiful sight no doubt.

  4. Barbara Wright says:

    Some of the live plants in the Domain landscape came from my nursery (Wright’s Nursery).

  5. Shirley says:

    Very cool mosaics and displays. It’s nice to see malls and businesses adding so much to the landscape.

  6. Peter/Outlaw says:

    The opuntia are fun and the paper plats are way cool but I’m totally in love with the agave mosaic and am thinking it would make a great table top! Another fun project for the summer! Thanks for the creative and fun way to start the day!

  7. TexasDeb says:

    That blue glass opuntia is gorgeous. Wish I had the chops to make one for my own spaces. I agree a blue bottle tree gives a similar effect but I like the slightly smaller scale of the mosaic opuntia. So striking!

  8. Lori says:

    LOVE that agave mosaic!

  9. Bob Anderson says:

    Pam – I have admired your wonderful garden photography for awhile. I’m delighted you and your readers enjoyed The Domain Phase I which my firm designed. Telling the story of Austin’s fun imagery, plants, snakes and all that makes us really look at the ground is what my whole career is all about. People wanting to interact with the land, whether it is in the city or the country.
    Keep up the great gardening communication!
    Best regards, Bob
    J. Robert Anderson Landscape Architects

    • Pam/Digging says:

      How nice to hear from the designer! Thanks for your comment, Bob. The nature theme in the hardscaping and art at the Domain adds so much enjoyment to any visit there, especially for us gardeners. Congratulations on a beautifully designed space. —Pam

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