The biggest change in the back garden involved removal of one of the two Agonis flexuosa trees in response to a neighbor's complaints about impairment of her view. She wanted many of our trees removed but I compromised by removing one and thinning others. I'm feeling the loss of that tree this summer.
|This view is from the back door: The tree shown in the middle of the back border in the photo on the left was removed in March, leaving a greater portion of the backyard at the mercy of the intense summer sun|
|View from the back patio looking south|
|View from the south side yard, looking north toward the mimosa tree, which lost its floral decoration more quickly this year|
The south side garden hasn't changed dramatically but my battles with the resident raccoons and dry soil continue to present challenges in this area.
|View looking through the arbor toward the harbor|
The front garden underwent the greatest change in the past year with removal of a large area of lawn. Lawn removal began in pieces soon after we moved in but this was the most significant removal we'd undertaken.
|View from the driveway: The dormant lawn seen in the photo on the left was replaced with drought tolerant plants, as shown on the right|
|I didn't have identical views of the area formerly occupied by lawn but these views taken from the southwest corner of the garden give some idea of the change|
Last summer, I tried growing corn in my vegetable garden with only a modicum of success. This year I'm growing sunflowers and zinnias.
The dry garden has been tweaked but I've made no major changes.
The slope is another area that underwent substantial change. The giant Yucca elepantipes was removed at the bottom of the slope (at my husband's instigation) in January. The 3 Pittosporum tenuifolium 'Silver Magic' shrubs I put in afterwards to screen out our view into the neighbor's property are growing slowly but steadily.
|My husband feared that the Yucca (more of a forest than a tree), shown in the photo on the left, was taking over the entire slope|
The last area I'll show is the street-side succulent bed, which I planted just over a year ago.
|Photo from 2014, shortly after it was planted|
|Current photo, after the addition of 500 lbs of additional stone and some new plants|
Rationing water has proven to be the greatest challenge in the past year. We cut our water use last year in response to the Governor's call for a voluntary 25% reduction. This year, our area was told to cut water use by 36% by comparison to 2013 levels. We've beat the budget set by the water company the past two months by good margins. Our usage in June was only 73% of our budget but, even with the minor miracles of rain in May and July, the impact on the garden is being felt. As July's rain gave me about 400 gallons of stored rainwater, I'm going to use that accumulation a little more freely, especially in the back garden where the loss of that tree's shade is being felt. I ordered more mulch a couple of weeks ago and I've got most of that down in the areas I missed on my first pass a few months ago. Planting of anything other than succulents is on hold until fall, when the last remaining two sections of lawn will also come out. Beyond that, I've got my fingers crossed that El Niño is headed our way (hopefully, without floods or mudslides).
All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party