I have not spent much time in the garage these past months. Other projects were begging for attention. A wet spring is always welcome in Texas and this year was an exceptional one. Things you thought were not growing or dead come back to life, including weeds. As a homeowner having a nice yard is a source of pride. Not all homeowners agree and some take it too far, mowing twice a week seems excessive. In general having a nice yard is not all that hard, water it, feed it, and mow it. Oh, and pull the weeds occasionally. My current yard is more of a challenge than previous yards. The soil is bad and weeds spread from the surrounding grass lands on a daily basis. Then St Augustine grass finds its way into your Bermuda lawn and decides to take over. Whoever thought St Augustine was a good idea as a lawn coverage in Texas… moving on. With the additional rain all the undesirables are growing faster than the Bermuda. Now was the time to draw a line in the sand or in this case the yard. I geared up with knee pads, shovels, rakes, picks and inspirational music and attacked the weeds. I worked almost every day for close to a month to eliminate everything that was not Bermuda. I then I noticed I had completely ignored the sidewalk strip. That annoying strip of grass 4 feet wide that has no purpose than to catch every piece of trash that blows in off the road. Mine is almost all weeds. A total do-over is called for. But why put in grass again that will be impossible to keep up.
The answer seems obvious, Xeriscape. Simple, dig out all the grass, plant some cacti and fill it is with something to keep the grass out. Did I mention that I have a corner lot with over 100 feet of additional sidewalk on the side of the house? I decided to invest in the local teenage economy and pay my son and his friends to dig these parts out. I felt for sure the neighbors were going to call the authorities on me for breaking child labor laws. It took them close to a combined 40 hours of hard labor in the heat to complete the task. Money well spent.
Now to fill in the cleaned out space with plants that will not require much attention or water. This is where the wife gets involved, she was not going to be left out of a shopping trip for plants. We visited a local nursery and seemed to fall in love with every drought tolerant plant they had in the place. In the end we settled on 20 unique plants with some duplicates of the ones I really liked for a total of 26 plants. Knowing that the soil these would be planted into is very rocky we picked the younger 1 gallon plants when possible. Even then it took all weekend to get them into the ground.
Our choice of filler was decomposed granite. Unfortunately it is the heavier option. Supplier issues delayed delivery but eventually 5 yards was delivered. If you have ever had soil or rock delivered in bulk like this it always appears to be less than you think. That is until you start digging into it and the pile never seems to diminish. This pile was no different and I did order more than I needed. Even after sharing some with the neighbors I have some left. I will find some use for what’s left eventually. Pictures of the results are below. My back, knees and soon to be lower water bill think the results are well above expectations.
All the people that stopped on their drive home or during their nightly walk had nothing but kind words and compliments as we worked and neared completion. Homeowner pride renewed. Now that’s done maybe I can get back to the garage.
Inspirational music provided by Tremonti’s latest album Cauterize.