Tuesday, March 16, 2010

New Ideas

This is the side yard now, having a bit more front yard station than it did when it was hemmed in by the Yew. I am quite excited about this space now, and while my decision still stands not to grow vegetables here this year, I see how I could do so much more with the tree gone.

Instead, I am going to re-orient the pathway from its east-west axis to north-south. That means, in the photo above, you'd be looking at the path head on. I am doing this for two reasons: one is that the climbing hydrangea commands the fence on the east side and I want to let it run, and the other is that I imagine one day these telephone poles you see on the left will be gone and we can enter at the gate that is about 30 feet to the left. In the mean time, we will go over the fence as we have before, but on the south side as opposed to the east.

Speaking of the climbing hydrangea -I am concerned that it will receive too much hot summer sun now that the Yew tree is gone. Its particularly sensitive in spring when the leaves are new and the quite warm sun comes up over the neighboring buildings. I would also love for it to flower. It was enormous and flowering in its former location on 15th St. I pruned it hard, dug it up, and thoughtlessly placed it here in order to save it from the bulldozer. It survived with little grief, but it's not flowering any longer.

In the center of our modest rectangle, I will make a 20 square foot "patio" out of some recycled stone or concrete. On it will go our pots with the herbs, and maybe a bench for sipping morning coffee or evening cocktails (being hopeful). Will the hardscape discourage the neighborhood cats from treating the side yard as a poopery? One can hope. I am also hoping the reduced shade drives the tiger mosquitoes from the area, although I still believe they are breeding in the storm drain about 6 feet away. They loved the tomato plants, residing under the leaves until I rang their dinner bell.

In the front yard I was experimenting over the years with low maintenance plants and succession planting. I was eager to see if I could have one plant succeed another without killing or severely weakening the plant that it replaced. I wanted three seasons of plants and flowering and to some degree I have succeeded, learning a lot, but never enough. My point being that over in the side yard, I won't care for such things. In fact, I'm giving the planting over to my wife, she's got ideas, and I've enough trouble keeping my succession scheme in order.

Here's to reinventing spaces.


  1. This very fantastic idea its new but best idea

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