Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Paths, mulch

Originally uploaded by stephannie_t.

Working Weekend

Last weekend we put in the gravel, decomposed granite, mulch and plants.

We were exhausted. It took about 15 hours total (not including lunch breaks). We had to miss our duathlon, our first race of the season.

It was like being in a fishbowl. People drove by, openmouthed (shock? awe?). Some people later in the day stopped and told me they saw me earlier in the morning and just wanted to say they were amazed we were still out there. Many people offered encouragement. One person offered free rocks (yay! because we literally need a ton more of river rocks) left over from her landscaping.

The plants look very small. We're going to get some more. I know they'll grow quickly, but I think we have space for some more.

I'll post some pics of the yard with the plants -- just haven't taken them yet.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Front Yard post-grass removal

We received the plants from Las Pilitas -- apparently all of them except for the poppies -- I haven't been able to go through them all yet to doublecheck. They were in cardboards boxes, cushioned by crumbled newspaper, with their roots/soil bagged, and their i.d. tags in the baggies (which is why I've not gone through them all since I unpacked them last night).

The mulch is ordered (from and should arrive by Friday. I updated the order for the gravel and rocks through Sepulveda Building Materials -- that should arrive Saturday a.m.


Labels: , ,

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Antique Towel Rods

I found two antique towel rods on eBay for our bathroom from a wonderful seller.

They are thick glass, slightly tinted by age, with very heavy supports/holders.

They came from the Divine Lorraine Hotel (and another good link here) in Philadelphia.

Labels: , , ,

Frontyard grass removal and native plant order

After going back and forth about whether or not to RoundUp, we hired a crew to dig up our sod, deciding the risks inherent in disturbing our soil and the probable longer upcoming weed battle was worth it over using herbicides. Part of the decision was influenced by the fact we have very little weeds and grass coming up out of our fruit tree mounds.

We visited Sepulveda Building Materials yesterday and chose some rocks. We also thought we'd ordered our gravel, smaller rocks etc but they didn't get put on the invoice (they were closing, we didn't want to keep them any later, so dashed off without going over the receipt (even though it seemed really low) until we got in the car) so I'll be calling Monday morning.

Anyway, a lot of our mulching will be with gravel and rocks; the rest will be with shredded redwood ('gorilla hair'). Hopefully, with all the mulching, we'll be able to keep up with weed control until our natives are established. I think I've found a source of bulk mulch (getting it by the bag just won't work, we'd need way too many bags; as it is we probably will get around 5 cubic feet). But if anyone knows of a good source in Los Angeles that delivers, please leave a comment!

I also place my plant order with Las Pilitas -- here's the list:

Achillea millefolium rosea Island Pink x3
Achillea millefolium arenicola
Achillea millefolium californica
Arctostaphylos La Panza
Arctostaphylos manzanita_x_densiflora Austin Griffiths Manzanita
Arctostaphylos silvicola Ghostly Manzanita
Arctostaphylos pechoensis Margarita's Joy
Arctostaphylos patula platyphylla Julian Manzanita
Asclepias fascicularis x2
Calystegia macrostegia
Diplacus aurantiacus australis Ramona
Diplacus longiflorus Topanga monkey flower
Diplacus puniceus Otay monkey flower
Eriogonum parvifolium
Eschscholzia californica maritima
Gnaphalium californicum x2
Lupinus excubitus
Monardella villosa x2
Monardella macrantha x3
Penstemon heterophyllus heterophyllus
Penstemon Margarita BOP x2
Penstemon spectabilis : x2
Salvia Celestial Blue
Salvia clevelandii Alpine Cleveland sage
Salvia Gracias
Zauschneria californica Catalina x2
Zauschneria californica Ghostly Red x2

The plants should be shipped Monday so we're planning on planting them next weekend. The rocks etc are going to be delivered next Saturday morning; I'm hoping to arrange for mulch by then as well. (Also, the same crew will be coming by to remove the bird of paradise, hibiscus and the other shrubs Saturday.)

Labels: , , ,

Friday, March 02, 2007

Front yard, fences, fruit trees and native plant planning

The small fig stick is budding at its tip. All the other trees, with the exception of the larger fig stick, are also budding or flowering. The large fig stick is showing some small signs of budding.

The blueberries are potted for the time being. The raspberry and blackberry canes are in the earthboxes (temporarily) on the deck but probably won't make it due to our tardiness in getting them into anything. Our fault.

We trimmed the dead branches off the unidentified tree near the bird of paradise, pruned the unidentified bushes, cleaned out the bird of paradise a little, and removed the spider plant from around the base of the u/i bushes.

After visiting the Cactus Center in Pasadena we added to our potted succulent and cactus collection. Some of them are slated to eventually populate the yard.

Regarding the fence....stucco/adobe/solid would be the way to go to fit the style of the house, but I don't know if we could get a permit for it, plus it would be very expensive if we have to have someone build it.

Looking through an old book (California Architecture in Santa Barbara? 1929) I think we could go with a short dry stone wall (maybe about 18") for the time being and re-purpose the stones later if we choose to change it. Some of the houses/mansions had that type of wall and it looked good. Plus, I think it's something we could manage.

We visited Sepulveda Building Materials last weekend. Tons (literally) of rocks, boulders etc to choose from, including boulders for decoration as well as smaller ones for other uses (wall!).

I have to update the sidebar with native plant links -- I've found a bunch over the last few weeks. We're looking forward to the Theodore Payne Garden Tour the end of April.

Our goals include supplying plants for birds and butterflies and eventually getting the yard certified as wildlife habitat.