|Notice termite damage on top pic and fungi growing on old rotted wood|
The wood. Our ramadas have issues. The wood beams need to be replaced as they are suffering from dry rot and are nearly 30 years old. I have also found dry rot termites in several of the beams. I know I know....it's terrible. We are taking steps as homeowners to deal with this, but it is taking time. For the moment, I have vines climbing these beams and covering them.....this is where the weed catsclaw comes into play. Like a string tying pieces together, this plant is keeping several of the beams from moving off the pillars. Wild grape vine has also really taken hold and it's attractive.
The front. There is nothing here to add "punch" to the front gates. This winter I am going to create several large and long planters that will be rebarred into the space. In this area, I will plant flowers and castor plants to excite people as they come home. Right now, it's just plain ol' boring.
The planters. Oh the ugly and stupid planters. First off, who puts planters against stucco? Dumb people. When it rains a lot, the water flows into the home. Not smart. Another question, who puts trees into planters? Again, dumb people. Notice how these trees are tilting and will pull the foundation with it? Several homeowners don't want me to remove these trees, but I have been asked by several others to do it. What does my education tell me? Do it. This winter, magically, these plants will disappear and something else will be put in their place. Palms were also put into planters and they are breaking the outer concrete. I just killed myself yesterday removing one.....but I felt good getting rid of the bugger. They do grow like weeds here.
The fence. No one will touch it nor do they care. I have created a natural fence which will take a couple years to grow and cover the missing fence planks. The good news is that the xylosma bushes are working their way up:)
The 4 wells. In our staircase wells, there is nothing. I have started planting things in them...well only two. Evidence shows that many years ago there were once trees in these wells. Notice the tree stump? It is my hope to put something there again that will not be root invasive.
Weeds and leaves. I hate them but as I have my lantana agents working, they are slowly taking over the grounds and covering areas that weeds would grow in. Thanks to a posting from Noelle over at Ramblings of a Desert Garden, I began to think of lining the walkways with lantana. It would be a natural barrier to keep the stone mulch in place and be an attractive plant to have guide people into their homes....anyway to "green up" the desert using xeric plants. The leaves I have not been raking up as I want to reenergize the soil a bit and while it's not attractive, it's doing the job. Several people have complained about the leaf mess, but our soil was nutrient deprived. Fertilizer is great but leaves also are wonderful for releasing nutrients back into the soil.
The parking lot. Ugh. It's ugly and so are the neighbors....well there are a couple sweet people that are stuck with rotten ones around them, but for the most part, the road leading up to our place is an eyesore. This is a project for down the road, but I am going to put oleanders in those spots...or palo verde/mesquite trees. This would create a "moat" effect....a garden leading into a garden. While I write this, I think of several things:) I probably wouldn't plant a mesquite because the roots break pavement and so do oleanders....I'd probably opt for texas ebony or palo verde trees.
The pool. Ugly and a waste of money. Plus no one really uses it. There is also a leak which is costing the homeowners several hundred dollars a month. The good news is that it looks like a vote will happen and that this space will be filled and a fountain will take her spot....perhaps with a gazebo? Not sure about that one, but I do know that a Mexican park is what I'm striving for on the property. My mind has images and they look good:)
A strange space. Future greenhouse? Perhaps:)
The birds are back!!! But the sucking sounds of the pool indicate that there is a leak causing lots of money to go down the drain!
While this post was difficult to write and snap shots of, I hope that it allows us to take a closer look into your own gardens. The best part is that anything is possible....with money:) And of course time and ingenuity. If it's one thing that I am learning, it's that there is a right plant for every space in the garden. Happy Gardening!