Monday, October 15, 2012

Fiddling around in the yard....

This has been a great weekend, weatherwise:
and I hated wasting it sitting inside watching Season One of Homeland in some kind of TV watching binge (but I did it anyway), so I took periodic breaks to go out and do some yard work here and there.  I'd been letting the front parking strip (a.k.a. the Hellstrip) dry out, to be sure all the ivy was gone as well as the St. Augustine grass (it's tenacious), so I worked some manure into the soil and transplanted some of our miscellaneous plants there.  I have high hopes but right now, I just wanted to keep the dust down:

There are a couple of bare spots there - I am going to be putting in some paving when I get the right materials - I've got my eyes open for some broken concrete, just lurking about on Craigslist until someone posts some for free.  All the stuff I planted was free, so I only needed to pick up some mulch to keep it moist while it roots.  Also - everything here should be low-water, low maintenance once it's established. 

As a reminder; here's what it looked liked before:
I also scored some plumeria branches on craigslist for free.  Whenever these are offered, they're snapped up right away, so I was lucky to be the first to respond.  They said "large branches", which in my experience, means a piece around 18" long.  We went and they weren't kidding, very large branches, around 6' long with multiple areas for replanting.  This is the flower that plumeria produces - they're used in lei making in Hawaii:

 So we planted one in the front yard near the corner of the house, one in the backyard where we'll be able to admire it from our future pool, and then we have one in our "holding area" behind the garage, and the remaining 3 pieces of the trunk went there, too.  We'll see if they actually root (supposedly, they root easily and will grow within 90 days).

Here's one of the larger pieces:

Also in the backyard - hummingbird feeders!  We had visited my brother in Los Angeles a few weeks ago (where we got the two attenuatas above that are flanking the plumeria), and he has scores of hummingbirds flitting around his yard.  His wife, Lisa, has hummingbird feeders all around, and we loved the atmosphere of birds zipping around, so we picked up one hummingbird feeder to add to our previous one that no birds went to -- and tried a new location.  Before we knew it, we had two hummingbirds visiting.  So this weekend, we picked up two more feeders and placed them around the yard.
One thing we noticed is that one hummingbird had been chasing others off, so we figured if we put them all over the yard, we'd increase the number of chances for them to be successful in avoiding the bossy one.  There's a picture of a hummingbird I took at the Huntingdon gardens, too.

So that was it, enjoying the late warm weather, catching up on Homeland, and getting the yard a little more habitable. 

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