Thursday, June 20, 2013

Front Yard Transformation Complete

This is, unfortunately, the best "before" picture I have.  The area we transformed is beyond the garage- it is the far area of the front yard.  Like the area in the foreground, it was red lava rock and grass when we moved in.  It had two non-fruiting mulberries in the lava rock (here is the fate of a similar tree in back).

Three summers ago, we sheet mulched the yard (after giving away the rocks on Craigslist).  Here we are, with boxes and brown shopping bags, topping them off with free tree mulch from the local tree service.  The idea was that we would sheet mulch, then wait two years, then make a gorgeous garden.

Here it is, sheet mulched and pristine.

Then last summer, we had a bit of work done in the back yard.  This included having a sewer line dug from the back to the front through our area in review.  I neglected to photograph it when the dumpster was there.  Here is the backhoe in action.  Notice the carbgrass on sheet mulch.

That was a fun two days.  

It was followed by a year of parking the car on the sheet mulch.

Then I noticed that the sheet mulch in other areas of the yard had produced fluffy dirt, and the California Poppy seeds we had flung had produced some beautiful poppies.  So I planted a pear tree and called someone to add some irrigation.

He dug it in.

And pick-axed some of the carbgrass out.

Then we added rocks in the ditch.

Then we realized the sprinklers the guy had done didn't work (they kept falling over).  So he came back and added a drip line, and permanent skinny sprinklers.  Then my kids pulled them out, and my neighbor made me feel better about that by saying the deer knock hers over all the time.   So we used our new irrigation prowess and pulled those sprinklers out and re-irrigated the area with drip lines snaking all around.  I am happy to report that my kids ignore these lines.

Meanwhile, we were adding plants.  We added a pomegranate tree and a lime tree, and moved the pear.  We also added some understory plants, and a little groundcover.  

We also added some river rock in a bifurcated pathway.

And we got bricks, painted them yellow (twice), then varnished them and buried them.

A yellow brick road!

The kids love going up and down the yellow brick road with their dump trucks.

We bought a bench and found a stump.  We put bricks (concrete scraps) at each corner of the bench- buried- to keep it from sinking into our clay soil.  The stump is at one end of the yellow brick road.  I have another bench on order for the other end of the kids' yellow brick road (you can't see it, but it also forks at the end).

We wrapped the trees to protect them from the deer.

We added bags upon bags of mulch from Home Depot.   It took us four full trips in our "big" car.
And now we love it!  We want to ignore it so it will grow big :) .

Meanwhile, we pick crabgrass all the time.
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