APRIL Project Part Five- Sidewalk Prettifying and Yard Beautification… because the neighbors deserve it.

Almost finished… I’m just waiting for the Arctotis to be delivered from the nursery. Poop. I wanted this to be a finished project, but we will just have to use our imagination on this.

Plot #1 before
Plot #1 after

We have two small spots in our yard that are difficult to keep nice. Here’s the before and after of my Sidewalk Beauty Pagent, Contestant #1:

And Contestant #2, mid weeding, old mulch raked off, waiting to be planted and remulched. Some nice, big rocks would look right at home there, too:

Plot #2
Plot #2 before
Plot #2 after

Here is the same type of plant I ordered, a red arctotis. I’ve seen this plant at one house in our neighborhood for about two years now. Arctotis blooms year round with these big red flowers that look like gerbera daisies. Low water needs, long lasting color- I’ll take two, please! I snapped this second pic in Balboa Park showing the rocks that I want to place next to the arctotis plants… got to wait to place the rocks, also. Need my muscle riding shotgun, so the rocks will have to wait until the weekend when I can conscript The Husband!

Red Arctotis
Red Arctotis
Balboa Park
Balboa Park Gerberas

APRIL Yard Clean-Up Part Four: Orange Blossom Special… and Limes- think of the Gimlets!

Have you ever smelled a fresh orange? I mean really fresh- right off of the tree. It smells like California, the fresh outdoors, even the remnants of the orange blossom. If you want to taste something that comes close to how an orange blossom smells, find a jasmine tea (one of the green teas) and brew a cup. I had a small orange tree in a pot as a houseplant when I lived in Seattle. One whiff of that tree in bloom and in my mind I was back at my parents’ home, which was surrounded by citrus groves back in the day.

So pretty!
18 months ago. So pretty!
I should be stopped. Rally.
Today :o(

Now, with my struggling trees in my own yard, when the onshore breeze blows just right, I recognize not only my parents’ but grandparents’ home, too. For most of my youth they lived in either Ventura or Saticoy, California, with grove after grove of the most fragrant trees.

Voilà- future Gimlet
Voilà- future Gimlet
A few holes...
A few holes…
pot, soil, drill and tree- check
pot, soil, drill and tree- check

Today I planted a small lime tree- Costco is selling citrus trees and pots at great prices. After buying citrus/palm/cactus potting soil the grand total was under $45 and with a few holes in the pot, I had a new patio gem to join my potted Meyer Lemon… the only way I am keeping citrus alive, ugh. Usually, The Husband will do my potting and planting for me, especially if digging holes is involved, but I did all of this myself. Not a grand feat, except for lugging the 50b bag of citrus soil.

I’m about ready to rip out the last ornamental vegetation around my home and replant nothing but edibles- with citrus in pots, strictly. Maybe throw in some avocado and banana trees?

Part Two- My Yard “Cleans Up Good” more of APRIL Project of the Month

Out with the old, in with the new.

Went back to Walter Anderson nursery today, found Leslie and she helped me pick out more semi-drought tolerant container loving plants. These should last longer and hold up to our dry weather better than the ubiquitous annuals that I have planted in the past.

We found…

Salvia (taller)
Salvia (taller)
Salvia (medium-ish)
Salvia (medium-ish)
Yellow Portulaca
White portulaca
White portulaca

Into the pots they went. The portulaca is nifty- I’d never noticed it before and hope that this succulent-ish flower really can take the heat. The salvia should bloom for quite a while when it gets going, but I have no clue how the celosia will do- it sure is a bright red and it looked really nice with the white portulaca. White with red and blue with yellow kind of pops, so that’s how these got planted.


I still have three or four more yard projects to tackle that involve trying something different or doing the job on my own for the first time… “NEXT!” she yells out to no one in particular.

APRIL Project- Do You Clean Up Good? Part One…

My yard “cleans up good.”

I hd never heard that phrase until my early 20s when a neighbor paid me the compliment. I may not recall what special event The Boyfriend/Husband was taking me out for that evening, but the “You clean up good, kid!” I remember like it was yesterday.

Yeah, I'm hanging my head.
Yeah, I’m hanging my head.

This is the sorry state of affairs that I am working with. Just this very day I am learning that this desiccated disaster is not entirely my fault. It seems that The Husband had turned of the water… for the last three weeks! Now, April has been a rotten month for me so far, but usually my entryway doesn’t fall apart to this extent. I’m glad to know that I had help in this mess.

Leslie knows her stuff.
Leslie knows her stuff.

To help prettify my window boxes, the dead alyssum, pansies and geraniums are headed to the compost pile and being replaced with less thirsty flowers.They aren’t natives or succulents, but with help from Leslie at Walter Anderson Nursery I learned that succulents wouldn’t take the heat and the local plants that would, get way too big. Trust your Garden Center Gurus. They know all.

Here are the replacements (you can click on the small photos to see their detail and names):


And here is the lovely finished project. Sorry kitty lovers, but both cats had jumped down from the window by the time I took this photo:


If I remember, I’ll post an update in a month or so when these little guys fill in more. In the meantime, this is what gets replaced tomorrow: IMG_6199