This month it's all about the front yard.
|The front borders are largely devoid of color at the moment but at least they mask the dirt area formerly occupied by lawn|
|Since the lawn was brown and nearly dead to begin with, perhaps the neighbors haven't noticed that it's gone|
|The area to the left of the lawn area is unchanged - at least Leucadendron 'Wilson's Wonder' is happy (the climbing 'Joseph's Coat' rose is NOT)|
The area surrounding the front walkway will remain a dirt landscape for a while yet. My husband and I are hard at work removing grass roots, sod netting, and mountains and mountains of rocks from the soil. I know many horticulturists now recommend leaving the native soil alone to the degree possible but the beds we've created after digging out and screening the top foot of soil, then adding locally-obtained topsoil and amendments have done much better than those we've left alone. So we labor on. Only the area under the drip-line of the Magnolia tree will be left alone. I plan to weed that area by hand, then cover it with a Magnolia-friendly mulch.
The backyard still has most of the holes I lamented in last month's wide shots post, including a few new ones attributable to an extended September heatwave. I have 2 nursery treks planned and I hope to pick up some plants to begin filling the open spaces soon.
|Usual view from the back door looking toward the Los Angeles harbor|
|Backyard viewed from the right side|
|View of the backyard from the left side, highlighting the poor condition of the remaining grass pathway. It'll probably come out next year.|
The biggest change in the backyard is the addition of a new bed, dug out from the lawn, across from the "spa bed" I planted in early September. The new bed has already been screened (by my ever-helpful husband) but I have yet to add the amendments it needs prior to planting. I'm also still working on the bed's planting scheme, which, taking my cue from the "spa bed," will probably rely on more drought-tolerant Australian plants.
|View of the "spa bed" and the new bed from the far side of the backyard looking southeast - did you notice the dead section of Ceanothus hedge behind the Arbutus? I need to do something about that too.|
In the side yard, I replanted the bed once occupied by a large Eucalyptus tree as I discussed doing last month. I've also pulled out the sad Zinnias and other annuals and planted a Grevillea groundcover, still small, and some succulents. My ongoing battle with the resident raccoons over dominion of this area continues, complicating matters.
|Usual view of the south side garden through the arbor looking toward the harbor|
|View of the side yard looking in the other direction toward the street showing one of the bare spots in the bed adjoining the patio (outside of view on the right)|
|View from the side yard patio - the tomato cage in the former "Eucalyptus bed" protects the Grevillea from raccoon intruders. I cleaned up after yet another overnight raccoon assault shortly before this photo was taken.|
The vegetable garden is once again bare of vegetables - nothing did well this year. Too much heat and too little water. I did move the Acer palmatum 'Purple Ghost' from the south side garden to the bed along the garage in the vegetable garden but it remains to be seen if the tree will make it.
|The vegetable garden is too depressing to discuss further, although the navel orange tree is already developing next year's crop|
I cleaned up the dry garden in late August but bare spots remain throughout. My only new additions were a Leucadendron 'Blush' and a couple of Dorycinium hirsutum. They made it through the last heatwave so I count myself lucky there.
|Still in need of serious work|
That's it for this month's post. Maybe, just maybe, I'll make some progress in the front garden and other areas before November's post.
All material © 2012-2014 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party