Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Confessions...the reality

I have spent the last two Sundays hauling JUNK and yard waste from the yard. I pruned massive roses that had been neglected for 10 years, slicing and pricking myself in all places, even my ears had blood on them.
Sadly, one can barely tell. If you were to walk into my backyard all you would see is the amount of work that lies ahead. So, to serve as a motivation to plow ahead...and a reminder of where I have come from later, I am going to post photos from this morning.
Go easy on me...

When we planted this flowering pear it was neatly trained on a big trellis....I really think I have to take it out. I am planning to have a couple of citrus against the back of the house. It faces south and should be a great place for them. Under the window is a Styrax japonica, barely hanging on after years of neglect. It has to be moved. Its going to be a sink or swim situation for that guy, as I know they dont like being ripped out of the ground.

Turning towards the back half of the yard you see what was a big border of English roses, Buddleia alternifolia, Philadelphus, Phlomis, Miscanthus and various other perennials. It was a solid wall of overgrown plant tangle at least 8 foot tall. We just cut out a Paulownia tree the birds planted a few years ago, it was 10 feet already. The stump is at the bottom right. I want to put a persimmon there. On the left side of the picture there is a white Vitex agnus-caste that has never done is coming out and making room for a second persimmon.
Panning to the right you see this mess. On that arbor two roses: Climbing Mermaid and Chevy Chase. The latter was purchased many years ago at Western Hills, in a 4 inch pot with its name barely legible scrawled in grease pen. It is a great rose. Just to the left of the arbor is a Magnolia stellata, just getting ready to bloom. Coming through the arbor on the right is a Clematis tangutica, its delicate yellow blossoms disguise its hardiness...anything alive back here is tough!

Anyhow, tackling the arbor roses is next job.


This "shed" was here long before us. No one dares to venture to close, let alone inside. A huge old walnut tree that was behind it fell a couple of years ago and ripped a giant hole in the roof and back wall, ruining whatever was inside. This is the biggest project I have for the near future. I wish we could hire someone to just come and haul it off. I dont remember what all was stored inside but Im sure I will be sad if I look at it. I just want it gone. I envision a deck here...with a spa...."sigh"

Ok, going back to the border: I wanted to show you this Mauve Mist Callistemon I planted from a 1 gallon can. I just started pruning it, it was leaves to the base. To the left is a Magnolia whose name is escapes me.

In past years this was a glorious vegetable garden. Sunflowers and gourds along the fence, asparagus bed, rhubarb and veggies galore. It will rise again! I need to get it weeded, beds repaired and then have soil delivered. Because we have no access to drive back here we have to haul it in by hand...My goal is to have it ready by May 1st for planting.

This is moving further back, in the back half of the vegetable garden. I have volunteer walnut trees, Ivy and a TON of blackberry to remove so I can grow corn and pumpkins back here. Also, want to build compost bins here.

Ok, so if you turn around and look behind you this is the glorious scene. Remember, this is AFTER we hauled three giant truck loads out of here. This is the area the kids have built elaborate club houses and forts and just generally made a huge mess. I envision a beautiful woodland garden back here, with pathways and a small sitting area. Blueberries too.

Kinda proud of these, although I took no part in their survival. I planted 3 of these Madrones, back when we could get them in the nursery. These are the Arbutus menziesii, not the unedo or the hybrid 'Marina' that are available to us today. They have grown well along the back fence, under the neighbors redwoods. The only problem is they have to bend down because their neighbors up top are taking up all the space.

Now take a few steps back towards the house, and the awful "building that needs to go". I would like to have fruit trees in this area.Look at all the Privets that sprouted along the fence line. Ugh. The swingset to the right is coming out, it is no longer usable. Those roses in the foreground are old roses, I need help identifying them. They are probably just a rootstock.

So there you have it, or some of it. I didnt show you the patio area, or the area we want to have a pond. I have big dreams but, I also have very little time and even less fundage! I also have another project I need to begin devoting more time to and that is the childrens new school grounds, devoid of landscaping. (I think that deserves its own entry) Oh, and Im beginning a landscape design course. And its SPRING at work.

Wish me luck!

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