In July 2013, several friends and I traveled to Palm Spring, California for the annual American Society of Horticultural Science conference.  During a low-key afternoon, Allison, Halley, Hunter, Jenn, and myself pilled into a car (with two gallons of water just in case) to travel to Joshua Tree National Park.

 Pretty bleak, huh?  But, that's part of the magic of Joshua Tree.  That in the absence of our archetypical landscapes you feel transported to another planet.  It touches your soul.  

Pretty bleak, huh?  But, that's part of the magic of Joshua Tree.  That in the absence of our archetypical landscapes you feel transported to another planet.  It touches your soul.  

 
 Fouquieria splendens (ocotillo), doing the wave in the desert.    

Fouquieria splendens (ocotillo), doing the wave in the desert.    

 
 In one part of Joshua Tree National Park, there was a cholla garden.  

In one part of Joshua Tree National Park, there was a cholla garden.  

 Chollas look like a teddy bear arm and leg factory.  You almost want to give them a squeeze.  Almost.

Chollas look like a teddy bear arm and leg factory.  You almost want to give them a squeeze.  Almost.

 At one pull off, we found rocks that looked like weathered marshmallows, turned a perfect golden brown after slow eons of roasting.  (Sorry, black crispers.  Slow and brown is still the best.)

At one pull off, we found rocks that looked like weathered marshmallows, turned a perfect golden brown after slow eons of roasting.  (Sorry, black crispers.  Slow and brown is still the best.)

 
 While some Joshuat trees were still climbing toward the heavens...

While some Joshuat trees were still climbing toward the heavens...

 
 ...others had fallen to the earth.  Throughout the park we read about how climate change was killing the trees.

...others had fallen to the earth.  Throughout the park we read about how climate change was killing the trees.

 
 Not everything was brown.  We found a few Datura along side the road.  

Not everything was brown.  We found a few Datura along side the road.  

 
 
 With the arrival of night, we left Joshua Tree.  I have never experienced a landscape such as it.   

With the arrival of night, we left Joshua Tree.  I have never experienced a landscape such as it.   

 

THE TAKEAWAY  For me as a horticulturist, it reminded me that there is a plant for every place, even if conditions are ruthless