Last year I started My Housing Project: Blog posts directly related to the improvement of my property.
With yesterday being the first nice weekend day in months, Mom came over and the three of us started cleaning up the front yard.
While they raked and bagged piles and piles of leaves, I dug up root balls for two rose shrubs and one Euonymus. The second Euonymus shrub is only partly uprooted, as the roots grow like moss and grab into the soil for nearly a foot. Those are easy enough to break with the shovel but it’s the actual thick root I’m having trouble with. After all the other digging and uprooting, I just couldn’t continue in the hard desert sand to finish it yesterday.
I didn’t photograph my efforts. I wish I had, for the Before and After. From now on, I will.
We celebrated with a Shamrock shake from McDonald’s, and it was so pleasant to see the newly cleaned yard when we drove back home. It’s still dirt, but at least now it’s clean dirt.
There’s still a pile of leaves against the fence corner. With a few more black bags, they’ll be gone.
What really excites me is that the birds are returning. For the first time since September, I cleaned and filled the bird bath as well as set out seed, peanuts, and cracked corn. It took my birds all of one hour to rediscover their buffet.
That means they’re also flocking to the nearby Joshua Tree. Which I happily discovered, is about to bloom.
Look at those buds!
Soon they’ll flower for a short time, then fall off and leave the beginning of a branch. Joshua Trees only bloom once every two or more years, and this is the first time mine has done so. It’s a quick process, as the bloom has grown and spread since my first seeing it yesterday. I know my Cactus Wrens will be thrilled as their home gets a new level or two!
Once I pull up the five half-dead Lilac bushes along the north fence, I hope to line it with Italian Cypress. Italian Cypress grow quite well in the desert, and they’re a wonderful shelter for birds as well as an attractive property divider. Some yards have them spaced intermittently; others plant them closely together. I love how they grow tall and thin. Some can reach as high as fifty feet! Some local nurseries have them available for less than $5 each, and my planning calls for eight or nine. These are the 3-gallon size. Sure, that’s small to start with, but since they grow so fast, I’m fine with watching them from the beginning!
I also hope to afford a raised bed gardening system for my tomatoes and herbs.
I may not be able to finance it all this summer; but the plan is the start.
And I can’t wait to get started. One plant at a time.
My birds are a little excited about it, too.
And Frankly, My Dear… that’s all she wrote!