Sunday, July 22, 2012

More Yard Work

The front entry is in limbo right now - I primed the walls, the ceiling needs more patching, and I've got lots of painting and trim to go -- but we spent part of the weekend working on the yard.  We've patched together a pretty nice little planting bed along the back wall with mostly free plants we've picked up on Craigslist.  Now we're in the long hot summer of Southern California, and the very sandy soil we have dries out super quick.  To keep the moisture in for our transplants, we bought bags of mulch to help keep the watering to a minimum while maximizes the moisture retention.

It's looking worlds better than it did when we moved in.  I did buy some plants - some caladiums, and some ground cover for the most part, although I also picked up some shasta daisies and some purple coneflower to give the area some color.   Here are some 'before and after' shots of various parts of the yard:

 All the efforts to get the backyard in shape are somewhat temporary.  We are considering putting a pool in next summer, so I'm not terribly concerned about the grass, but I am hoping to keep the plantings around the edges.  And I'll probably move things around, which I do all the time.

Mulching the planting area will help things grow well, as evidenced by the progress we saw in our front planting box.  I had planted a bunch of little mums from the dollar store, and they were going nowhere for about 2 months, until I added a few inches of mulch in the box.  They sprung up rapidly after that -- So I'm hoping the backyard will have similar results.
We also scored the two chairs and table free off craigslist.

Another couple of things we did was to transfer a staghorn fern from a cocoa-lined basket (where it was looking pretty sad) to the avocado tree, by wrapping it to the tree with fishing line.  I don't know how long it will take to attach itself to the tree, but the fishing line is nearly invisible.
Along the back wall, the bamboo is doing rather well - still sprouting and sending up shoots - I'm hoping it will fill in more with the mulch.  One thing I have to be careful of - mulching around those agaves was tricky!

Just some progress shots - the succulents along the driveway are looking nice:

There are still some areas that need work, for sure.  Here's the area behind the garage.  We've removed the laundry line and cut down the weedy tree.  Dale cut up the dead tree, and we transplanted the camellia elsewhere in the yard.  It's still a dusty, sandy desert there.

Eventually, we have plans to build on to the back of the garage (a small studio guesthouse), so I don't want to plant anything really nice back here.  We just use it to store firewood and bricks.  We planted bamboo, some aloe succulents, and dwarf lemon and orange trees here along the wall on the right.

Other plants we've picked up on Craigslist - these elephant ears and succulents, along with a geranium we inherited from a previous rental.  The first house we lived in had a ton of dying plants in the yard that the owner said we could have.

The spider plant was from that house, and we picked up the jade plant and the bird of paradise off Craigslist.  They were both in the same dried out planter, so tangled together that we had to just hack them apart with a hatchet, after breaking the pot to get them out.  They're still recuperating from the trauma!  The little rose I got at the dollar store.


B E C K Y said...

Ya know, I stumbled on your blog via google images while looking for gypsy campers. Gotta say, I'm loving this blog. You have a new follower for sure!


Laurie said...

Thanks, Becky! Are you making or looking for a gypsy camper yourself?

danger garden said...

WOW! What a difference in just a year...and I've gotta say I'm mighty jealous with all those craigslist plants, lucky you!

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