Sunday, December 28, 2008

Finally, Changing towards natives and water wise landscaping

sure it looks nice, but do you want to pay $300 a month for watering and mowing it in 90F plus degrees??

Finally, slowly but surely, our big backyard is taking shape. Literally. After killing off the highly useless St. Augustine grass (in Central Texas, we're in a constant state of varying degrees of 'drought'), we ended up with caleechy exposed soil and a LOT of weeds. Finally, we made some progress.

half-way done..

We got rocks from a local cemetary where they literally have a pile on a side lane free for the taking, and we also found roughly chopped cedar mulch (which ended up having quite a lot of palm by the looks of it) from the Lake Travis Brush Recycling$3 a yard which, with the tax and delivery included, ended up costing us only $205.68 to be exact! (we got 25yards).

For Mother's day I had gotten several native, drought resistant trees; one Texas persimmon, one desert willow (they are happy trees here, bloom beautifully), one Mexican plum and two Possum Haw hollies. They all happen to have white flowers but are all still fairly short, about 3 to 4 feet. Digging the holes for them was not possible to do manually but that saga happened too long ago. Just trust me when I say; here in Central Texas, you build upon, you don't dig. Not if you ever can help it 'cause it'll mean having to hire machinery.

Anyway, without further ado..the before ...and the after.

LANDSCAPE FABRIC?? I know I know..some of you will have a cow but trust me..there's no saving this soil (caleechy works it's way up) and it's too expensive with a yard this size to keep putting top soil on it. If you go native, you do not need to worry about the soil. The fabric is to minimize the weeds as we are facing a greenbelt. When it's planting time, you just push the mulch aside, cut a whole, do a little diggin' well, scraping in our case, and voila..done!

A path running through it..

Taking shape...I have two vegetable beds that actually had to be covered from a freeze..

The truck with the 25 yards of mulch..

THAT'S what 25 yards of mulch looks like..whoa nelly!

Shaping continued..for now we have a few mulch 'humps' but I'll post some more updates, finished outlined path pictures later this week..


8 plus hours later, 3 wheelbarrels assembly line style, several helpful neighbour kids for a few hours here and there and the day before was finally done!

Like I said, we still have more pictures to show... It feels good though. It's a great start..perhaps I can even figure out a little video so I can give the panoramic scanning view of the ...we'll see how that goes.

cross-posted at Blogger Roundtable


Cartledge said...

You have been tagged permie, and I only half blame my tagger - No Blood for Hubris

. Having taken the challenge - What am I doing here? A meme
- I sought someone of interest to pass it on to. The Permaculture/Mollison connection seems to hold promise of an interesting result.

Lyle said...

Wow! looks like a lot of hard work..but well worth it. Thanks for sharing. @Citizensnews

Ingrid said...

boy oh boy Cart..I've neglected your challenge! The month of January was bad in terms of ER visits with asthma/allergy kid and tons of scattered errands and such. February did not start off slow either as I'm super busy with board work (member of Gilbert and Sullivan society here in Austin)
I'll see if I can accomodate finally.
Lyle..I enjoy your 'tweets' and am glad that I knew re. the Firedoglake. I have more updates etc re. the backyard and hope to post more this weekend..


Cartledge said...

Ingrid I felt guilty that you had the kids to deal with, and now the bloody pirates of Penzance… Sounds like you are going to have a busy list

Ingrid said... worries..thwarted plans come with parenthood!! [g]. This past week, it was the flu times 2! Still, with both kids having had flu shots, it was not as bad as the flu could've been with without. If they hadn't had the flu, I would've given them the heave ho to go to school sooner!
now..dh took 'm off my hands and I'm relaxing..aah, the space. the peace and quiet. The 'no-attitude' zone!! lol