Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bloom Day - June 2015

I'm late for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, but while I wait for the front yard to be ready for pictures, I wanted to document at least some of my blooms for June. So far, the weather has been weird - colder than normal until last weekend, and then up to 100 deg+ the last 2 weeks. But the blooms keep coming:
Coreopsis  Moonbeam starting to bloom

Epilobium canum / california fuchsia  
Common Thyme + an all white 'Hot Lips' Salvia

Vitex agnus-castus, with yucca's 
Germander - Teucrium Chamaedrys making a purple carpet

Yellow from the Yarrow's and left over Palo Verde blooms

Artichoke blooms (I'd rather look at them than eat them)

Hardy Lantana that came back for the 2nd year in a row!

There are more blooms to be seen at Carol's Blog, with all the on-time entries of beautiful flowers everywhere.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Front Yard - Before

Changes are afoot in the front yard! Before all the work is finished, I figured I should remember what it looked like before. Last year, the front garden looked like this:
The lawn in all it's green glory
The front yard was one of the first things I "fixed" after moving into the house. After all, when the first thing two of my neighbors asked was "welcome to the street, when are you fixing your yard?", I can take a hint! At that point, I didn't have much experience gardening in the desert yet, so while a lot of the front garden ended up not being grass (dry stream bed, planting beds), going with grass most of where it had been before made some sense. There is a narrow planting bed up near the house that allowed me to start experimenting with plants:

The planting beds (about a year ago)
As I figured out more and more things to grow (and decided I really didn't like mowing), I started to think about removing the grass. Especially after the back garden was done with no grass, and the drought carried on, it became more obvious that taking out the grass was a good idea. The final push was a few simple things: the drought got worse, there were rebates, and i realized just how much water the lawn was taking... Since my back garden is mostly desertscape, I switched to the same watering schedule in the front as in the back, and within about 2 weeks, the front garden looked like this:
horrible looking grass
mostly dead grass
The plants that were not grass were fine, which helped me realize how much extra water had been going to the lawn. And then my lawn mower broke too, so that was the end of that! After a few weeks of research, measuring and a design sketch, I was able to get the same landscape contractor I've used before to great results to come tear out the grass, update the irrigation, do hardscaping, and add some plants. After the first day of work, I came home to a blank slate:
Here we go!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Blowing off the dust...

Well, at least it hasn't been a whole year...

Even though the blog has been neglected, the garden has not. These days, i'm mostly posting on Instagram, under #gardeningupto11 It's easier and faster... Here are some recent shots:

...and i came home to the #Opuntia blooming! #cactus #succulent #flowersofinstagram #cacti

A photo posted by Renee (@renee661) on

One of my favorite areas in the garden #gardeningupto11 #flowersofinstagram #sticksoffire

A photo posted by Renee (@renee661) on

All the snails came out after the #rain #gardeningupto11

A photo posted by Renee (@renee661) on

From this weekend. #gardeningupto11 #flowersofinstagram #Opuntia #flowers #cactus #succulent

A photo posted by Renee (@renee661) on

But changes are coming for the front garden (bye bye grass!) and I want to make sure to collect all the plans in one place, so I'm reactivating the blog! But while I'll try to do better than one post a year, let's not hope for more than one per month...