Round up. Round one.
two weeks later, and it looks like this:
it actually looks much worse now, after round two. But yesterday, as per instructions, we fertilized the dead grass (!) to see if anything grows, and then, it'll be round three of Round up. Then, rent a sod cutter, and pull it all out. Probably next week. We also decided to kill the grass in the parkway (hell strip), although we did not submit plans for it. We are only going to get $3 per square foot for the first 1000 square feet, and the main part of the yard is over that. So we are killing the grass on the parkway but probably won't be planting anything there for awhile. Maybe just throw some mulch down until we decide to work on that, too.
So this is the plan we came up with. We visited a lot of yards and nurseries, and used the online resources to come up with the plants we wanted. They're all numbered there, here's the list of plants:
1. Pride Of Madeira Echium candicans
2. King Palm Archontophoenix cunninghamian
3. Strelitzia nicolai Giant Bird Of Paradise
4. Compact Gold Coin Asteriscus maritimus
5. Century Plant, Maguey Agave americana
6. Lamb's Ears Stachys byzantina
7. Mexican Bush Sage Salvia leucantha
8. Pygmy Date Palm, Roebelin Palm Phoenix roebelenii
9. Kleinia Senecio mandraliscae
10. Kangaroo Paws Anigozanthos hybrids
11. Shasta Daisy Chrysanthemum maximum
12. Dwarf Callistemon Callistemon 'Little John'
13. Lygeum sparteum Esparto Grass
14. Leonotis leonorus Lion's Tail
15. Calla Lily Zantedeschia aethiopica
16. Agastache rupestris Licorice Mint
17. Aeonium arboretum Parasol Aeonium
18. Medio Picta Century Plant Agave americana medio-picta
Yellow Margin Century Plant Agave americana v. marginata
Agave parryi v. huachucensis Huachuca Agave
19. Yucca elephantipes Yucca Tree
20. Pink Stripe Flax Phormium 'Pink Stripe'
21. Rainbow Warrior New Zealand Flax Phormium tenax 'Rainbow Warrior'
22. Purple Fountain Grass Pennisetum 'Rubrum'
23. Dymondia, Rock Ditty Dymondia margaretae
24. Gazania hybrids Hybrid Gazanias
25. Australian Tree Fern Cyathea cooperi
Some of these plants we already have, and while we have mapped them in at their mature size above, they'll be little sprigs when we actually plant them. We did do a cheesy photoshop of how we think they might look --
yea, someday. But we were pretty happy with this plan.
In the meantime, we also are kind of frustrated with the backyard. Ever since we cut down the large tree that dropped SO MUCH TRASH all over the yard, we can't keep the grass alive back there (there isn't a irrigation system back there. There is one in the front, although it doesn't work well, and we have to convert it to drip as part of this next process. but I digress). Anyway, it gets to be a desert back there. So we are going to do a few things to tide the yard over until we actually get a pool put in. We are using the front section as a holding ground for some ground cover --
dymondia on the right, and ajuga on the left. We want to see how they do in the sun - the grass is particularly hard to grow right in this space, due to the heat from the surrounding concrete.
Yea, that's some dead grass, and hard-packed dirt. Lovely. So what I did was pound a stake in the middle of the yard, run an 8' string out and spray paint a circle:
and sprayed RoundUp in the circle. Which is almost redundant, but I tell you, when you WANT the grass to die, it's hard to kill. So what am I going to do in that circle?
some kind of labyrinth! I like this one (via Pinterest), but I have lots of other designs I have saved, too. You can look at some of them here, or you can search 'back yard labyrinth' on Pinterest and see LOTS MORE.
So I am going to kill the remaining grass, lay down some landscape fabric (or newspaper layers), and then cover it with mulch (which we can get free from the city), and then create the lines in our labyrinth with bricks, plants, rocks, etc. I like this style of labyrinth, called 'Santa Rosa' --
I marked out 16' in diameter, so that should make a reasonable sized path.
So.....more projects! Will our kitchen ever get done? eventually! But it's so lovely outside, and I can't pass up a chance to make our environment a little nicer.