April 1, 2008

It’s coming along—- nearly a year later, it still looks wild, but there is a method to this madness, no doubt. In the immediate foreground a manzanita is happily growing. My affinity for this bush comes from it’s sage green wide leaves in contrast to its warm red stem bark. Also in view, lavendar (to left), rosemary (dramatically trimmed in foreground center, behind the manzanita), and sages and salivas (ground covers at this point). Stashed here and there behind other plants are last season’s pineapple sages (all doing well) and several sages (sages and salivas love this yard).

I saw the first Anna’s hummingbird yesterday. All good. Note doggie on the front porch (though he’d just taken up that post from under the yellow bush where he’s dug himself a little hangout hole) and sweetpea (to right of the rosemary bush) stalking a starling (non-native obnoxious bird species).

I’ve added pics from today to the series below.

June 1, 2007
[track down for updates in photos and text]

April 1, 2008
I need to tame the grassland portion to this side, but the bed itself is good. I’ve begun now planting groundcovers— creeping lime and lemon thyme. More irises and monkey brush are hiding behind the ceonothus (CA lilac). I am pleased that the ceonothus is not only alive, growing, but also blooming! (see below)

My view of the mayhem and madness.

April 1, 2008

Saturday June 9, 2007
Done for now

From the mouth of my 2 year old neighbor, Elijah, as he stood at the fence, starring into my yard this afternoon. Siddhartha got up and went over to the fence and licked Elijah’s hand and looked at him hopefully—take me with you. Wildlands wins again— why do I think I can manage these gardens? I’ve given up keeping score anymore. If anyone were to place bets, I wouldn’t bet on the human…

Happily, the true extent of the impact didn’t photograph all that well (ie, the “islands” between the french drain trenches). At first, I was only going to clean out the woodlands’ flowerbed (a bit), mix in a soil amendment, lay down mulch, and plant new flowers.

I’d dug three trenches for french drains, had water running through them to check grade, standing in muck and covered in mud before I got a grip. It took  a few minutes to realize what I had done.  Then, at that moment, standing there, I hear Elijah calling my name, and turned just as he tumbled over to the fence and stood there, mouth agape.

Uh-Oh Jenny is right. Smart kid. His mom joined Elijah and stood there dumbstruck. I talked to you two hours ago—how did you do this? You did that by hand?!! I stood there, and smiled sheepishly realizing how silly I must look, standing there sweaty, muddy, and with bloody cuts on my legs and arms. Ooops.

Prissy boy Siddhartha has been doing the cutest thing recently— rooting around in the dirt and laying in the grass.

No wonder my pets are jumpy.

Siddhartha’s starring at the mayhem on the woodlands side. His expression says it all. Even Pea looks freaked. Oh well. Note the sad pink jasmine attempting to grow up the arbor.  It’s still alive after six weeks, so that’s a good sign…

June 9, 2007
Wow this walk is clean! Sweet!

Can anyone remember the walk this clean…at least not recently?

The fig tree is covered with figs, the currants are producing this year, and I’ve got the blackberries trained on a trellis. Those should be ready soon….

Monday’s postscript:
I’m feeling less overwhelmed now after another hard day on Saturday and Sunday. There will always be things to do around here (don’t even get me started on the side garden, murals I want to paint, the list goes on and on), but finally, I have a vision for the front yard. It took over two years of seasonal observation of Wildland’s natural conditons, but today, it struck me. I’ve got rock and the like to lay down over the plastic and such, but ultimately, the woodland garden is coming along. I may start an herb garden to fill in the niches here and there. The small patch is approximately 10 feet by 5 feet. Just enough for the goat boy (Siddhartha) t0 graze within…

I love Wildlands.

Siddhartha this morning. Happier now that the major destruction is over and his regular walks have returned.

June 9, 2007

The yard is nearly to the point where I can quit messing with it, at least for this weekend. I do have the irises, some herbs, the lemon tree, the yarrow, the daises, and the saliva to get into the ground, but that is minor putzing.