Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Landscaping Troubles and Cystic Fibrosis

Mandi and I had been talking about buying plants for quite some time. We finally brought ourselves to get to a nursery and walked around for about an hour with the worker picking out plants to go in our yard. Like most people, we were really trying to find luscious, green, drought tolerant, freeze tolerant, hardy, beautiful and pleasant on the eye plants to fill up our yard. That's not too much to ask for right? I'm quite green when it comes to all of this yard stuff as I grew up with nothing but typical Arizona landscape. My idea of a yard included a lot of dirt, some pea gravel and a few desert style plants. I had never lived anywhere that had grass I had to maintain nor am I so sure that I knew what a drip system was.

After hemming and hawing over a handful of plants we finally decided on: duranta, fortnight lily, gardenia and agapantha. We were assured that this winter wouldn't be as harsh as last and that all of these plants would be fine if planted right now. I've been putting off planting for quite some time mostly because I had yet to yank out all of the dead stuff from last winter, whoops. While my dad was in town for Thanksgiving he finally gave me the motivation, and help, that I needed to get the job done. Let me just say this right now– I'm so thankful that I don't dig up plants for living.

When it finally came time to plant I woke up nice and early in the morning so I could get a jumpstart on the day ahead. I decided to start in our courtyard as this was the place that was going to require the most digging. There were a couple of spots that I was basically just replanting and those were no big deal, but the places that I needed to dig fresh holes was harder than expected. It is seriously amazing how hard the ground can be in some spots. It's pretty disheartening after digging for 20 min. and getting the hole to a place that you think is deep enough only to put the plant in said hole and see four inches of the root sticking out. Fortunately, I had nothing much going on that day, so I kept digging!

I finally got done in the courtyard (we planted three gardenias and two agapanthas) and it was on to the planters in back. I started with the planter on our North wall. We decided to plant three duranta and try our hand at training them up a trellis. The other task that I was intent on completing was building the beds back up. Over the years they've lost some of their soil to various conditions and it was definitely time to address that situation. I was able to plant the plants fairly easily as there were roses bushes and shrubs there previously, so it was a just a matter of ripping out a few existing roots. After I got them planted I cleaned up the drip lines, threw on some topsoil and followed that by mulch. I must say, it looks pretty good.

Then it was on to the bed/planter on the Northeast side of our yard. There were a few more rose bushes planted there previously which we ripped out when my dad was here. All that was left was the Queen Palms. We decided to throw in some fortnight lilies and an agapantha. After having a fairly smooth and trouble-free time, I was really looking forward to knocking out this project. But as we all know things rarely continue to go smooth in this life, I was up for quite a big challenge. Little did I know how “crazy” and difficult it would get.

To be continued...