So instead of working on the hell strip, I got sidetracked into looking for a free fountain on Craigslist (because I'm a CL Free stalker. Seriously, I could have done my whole yard purely on CL free).
I missed several - these go fast, but early one morning I was using my CL app while still lying in bed, and I ran across this ad:
(I removed the personal info). Looks great! I glanced quickly at the size without really thinking about it, I could see it was large -- but when we actually got out there (Yes! scored it by being the first caller!), OMFG it was huge. Yes, 5 feet across. Thank goodness we bought a truck. And, thank goodness the guy who was giving this away was the size of a football player, so he could help Dale load this into the truck (although I be his heart sunk a little when he saw me, a white haired old lady at his door, before Dale got out of the truck). We wrangled it into the truck and got it home - getting it out was an exercise in problem solving, but then we got it all placed and I painted it with the same brown paint as I used on the bricks, planted the top half for the front yard and:
And in the backyard is the rest of the behemoth:
I haven't done anything other than paint it yet. I placed it where we took out a large agave for the front yard, we got it all leveled, and I am going to think about what to put here. it's not going anywhere. I do have one more agave bovicornuta that might look great in the center, with a lot of other succulents around it. We want to give it some thought before we plant it, however, because once it's full, it's placed for good. We are contemplating the backyard landscaping plan, because we are going to be putting a pool back there in the next year (I know I said that last year, but I really mean it this year :) !) I think it might look really nice with a lot of lush groundover back here, but we have to put in an irrigation system and clear out some trees/roots, so no big rush.
Speaking of irrigation systems, that's the next plan on the agenda. I got my supplies all ready, we got a new automatic timer (another almost free item - the city of Long Beach has a rebate that covered 80 of the 89 dollars it cost). Oh, and I got my OK for the lawn to garden rebate - our check for $3000 should be coming in a month!
One more look at my succulent fountain in the front yard: