Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A day outside..

I love completing projects. New beds carved out of dead grass areas satisfy me on so many levels- I get to reduce the turf in my yard, they provide new places to try new plants, and I get a chance to dig deep and examine the layers in my soil- silty brown sand, whitish clay and occasional spots of decent soil. 

Here's a before spot from last month:

And this is the after- I created a new circular raised bed with waterwise plants and a lower curvy bed planted with silver ponyfoot that should be walkable for the boys.

The side view looked great.. until the chickens started digging it up. I've temporarily covered the low silver ponyfoot bed with chicken wire until the plants get established. I actually layered chicken wire under the mulch in the raised bed to keep them out permanently. The wire bothers their feet so they stay away.

The circular bed has a Blue Nolina (Nolina Nelsonii), silver ponyfoot, Mexican bush sage and an orange Desert globe mallow inspired by all the recent beautiful pictures I've seen posted. When it fills in it should be a grey/purple/orange palette which should blend with the Mexican honeysuckle, flame acanthus and purple sage I have nearby.

Other projects for the week have included planting a few succulent pots. It was too hard to resist the variety at the Natural Gardener, so I got a baby squid agave in addition to two Manfreda that are close to blooming. I also finally potted a small Queen Victoria agave I got last year- I think it was happy to leave my kitchen windowsill. I filled in bits of sedums from other pots to add more color. I picked these plants (and gave them gravel mulch) because they should be tough enough to fight off marauding birds and chickens..

I finally realized that my late season broccoli seed plants were too small and too late to produce anything big enough for me to eat- so I offered them to the ladies to distract them from the new plants. They demolished them within 45 minutes..

Now I have room for something new. I would love to find another Shishito pepper plant since the one I had last year produced delicious peppers.

And finally, I cannot keep my bird feeders full. I have sparrows, doves, cardinals, and blue jays eating the seed. Plus this plump guy, who can hang on to bark with his toes- what a superpower!



  1. Oh, I'd be jealous of the new plants and the finished project (I almost remember what it is like to finish something..) except the care and thoughtfulness with which you've proceeded makes that too churlish. So I'll just try for admiration, OK? I am filled with admiration.

    I feel you on the globemallow. I avoid nurseries until after oak season and can only hope there will be at least one specimen left for sale in our area by the time I get back to buying and planting. If not maybe I'm coming to you for seed...(do they seed out at all?).

    That last photo - priceless. Robber boy seems to be wondering if you are going to get close enough to make him move away because to be to be done... Happy April days!

    1. The globe mallow was hard to find- I think the one I got was half-hidden by other plants at the Great Outdoors.
      The squirrel was fun to photograph- we did a little dance as I crept toward him bit by bit. He wanted to run, but soooo wanted to eat from the bird feeder, too!

  2. The first picture is is framed beautifully! Love your new circular bed and all the new plant additions. I've never grown Shishito peppers, but I'm adding them to my wish list;)

    1. Thanks! The shishitos are yummy when sautéed- but be warned- one out of every ten is spicy!!

  3. Such a lovely garden--love that circular bed. And the last photo--adorable! Little devils, those squirrels.

    1. Thanks- I know the squirrels can be pesky, but they can be so joyful that I'm glad to have them around!

  4. Nice design, a very creative way to get rid of the lawn. I especially like how you tied the circle bed to the borders. That first photo is awesome.

    I have special memories of visiting a favorite aunt and uncle in Travis Heights, their yard was nowhere near level as yours though.