Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Fall projects..

What a gorgeous day to play in the yard. I plan to smother then remove some St Augustine and replace it with granite paths and water-friendly beds. Step one was to lay down weed block fabric to start the process- I wager it will be easier to dig the grass out once it's brown and baked. The walkway can wait until cooler weather, but I plan to dig up new beds around the AC unit so I can plant Turk's cap and flame acanthus this fall (and they can get established before next summer..)..

Of course it looks pretty unnatural right now, with the limestone pavers I plan to use on the grass side dotted along the fabric to hold it down, and the grass pushing against the fabric staples like sofa cushions..

 I also planted some fall veggies this afternoon. I put the chickens to work earlier this summer by putting compost and scraps on a bed that had had tired compacted soil. They happily pecked and fertilized.. when I dug it up today I was happy to see the soil was crumbly, rich and full of earthworms. Of course I had to wrap the area in chicken wire- hopefully it'll keep the girls out!

Broccoli, Romaine lettuce and brussels sprouts (I cheated and found some 9-packs of seedlings at Home Depot while buying pavers!).

Other happy plants in the yard:

The ice plant up front was bursting with blooms this morning

The Black dalea transplant is blooming already

Wild Italian arugula gone wild- no watering, vigorous regular trimming and it just gets bigger..

Another volunteer pumpkin- I'll see if it produces anything..


  1. That arugula is impressive. A great ground cover for you with blooms to boot. You call it "wild" - did you start that from seed or it is truly a wild plant here? I've gotta know! : )

    Every time I see a black dalea I think I simply must get one, then I never think to look for them at the nursery. Note to self:REMEMBER the DALEA!

    Gorgeous spaces with lots of great improvements underway. Pat yourselves on the backs - good work done!

  2. The arugula is from one packet of Renee's Garden "Rustic arugula" (Diplotaxis tenuifolia). I threw seeds back there last fall (when I thought the contractors would never finish on the shed/granny flat we added). I forgot all about it but remembered this spring when I smelled that arugula peppery smell. It is pretty spicy- I've used it cooked in pasta and stir fries but am too tame to eat it raw in my salads.. I'm happy something edible will grow wild in my garden- my other attempts at veggies are always low-yield!

    1. I'll look for that at the nursery. I love arugula and the idea of a self-sowing supply is very enticing. Thank you! (If you find the leaves a bit too spicy in salads try throwing in the flowers rather than the leaves. Just wash them well to rinse out any little critters..)