Blog Archive

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Our Yards: Summer 2009

It is hard to believe that:

a) we are having a baby in only 3-5 weeks
b) we now have a proper patio instead of bare dirt in our BBQ yard
c) we have new paths in all the yards (except the garden)
d) we have all our landscaping on automatic irrigation.

For some reason, all of these things make me feel old. I never expected to have all of these things in place by now. But "a" led us into a mad dash to get the others done. I feel a huge sense of relief and amazement with all of these...but most obviously with the first one.

I thought I'd post some pictures of our yards as they are today compared to how they were when we bought the house about 2.5 years ago. It is always fun to look back later and see the progress the plants have made (at least it is for watching children grow up). I don't have original versions of all these vantage points, but you'll get the idea that it went from a rental house to an owner-occupied house.

Our front yard and new flag stone paths as seen from our front porch today:Our front yard and new flag stone paths as seen from the driveway today:
Original front yard as seen from the court:
Our front yard as seen from the court:To some, the changes we've made in the front yard might seem outrageous (getting rid of the entire lawn), complicated (retaining wall, flagstones, an additional 8 cubic yards of soil), or unnecessary (I'll agree with that one...but how many home improvement projects are 100% necessary?). I really like variety in everything from the color and texture of my food at each meal to the plants in my front yard. Lawns are boring and use too much water, at least by California standards. And I like the changes in elevation our new yard has--it makes it look bigger and more interesting. Plus, it gave Dave and I something to do together on the weekends and that's what it is really all about.

The big pile of dirt (now mulched...something I worked on doing last week in the early morning hours before it got to be over 100F outside) in the retaining wall will be planted with drought-tolerant plants this coming fall. UC Davis has a nursery that sells natives and other plants well-suited to this area and I plan on buying the majority of the plants from there (it supports the school and I know the plants will thrive in our yard under minimal irrigation).

Original utility yard as seen from the middle of the yard (standing about where the lemon tree is in the photo below--it is the little teeny tree growing inside that terracotta circle):Our utility yard as seen from the north corner:Our utility yard as seen from the garage:Original BBQ yard as seen from the utility yard:Our BBQ yard as seen from the utility yard today (notice we now have gutters on this side of the more drainage problems!):
Our BBQ yard as seen from the porch outside the dining room's sliding glass doors:Original BBQ yard as seen from the garden yard (in the pouring rain--I was trying to document the drainage issues before we bought the house):Our BBQ yard as seen from the garden yard:

1 comment:

Tina said...

I don't know why, but my favorite change is the utility yard. It always is a neglected part of people's homes, but yours looks like I wanna spend time there!