Sunday, September 25, 2011

El Presidio Record Keeping 2011

Caladiums and Elephant Ears.  I'll start off with the pretty pic first because the rest of it needs a lot of work. 
Do you ever wonder who placed that old tree in your yard?  Or wonder why a set of bushes were placed along a fence? Or perhaps the thoughts behind why or how they began their gardens before you took over?  Most properties around town carry old histories and stories about the people who created these gardens from a long time ago. Cars and people pass these places up and don't pay particular attention to the trees or plants that make up our city's landscape.  If you ask anyone about a specific plant, you're more than likely to receive a shrug or a "I don't know."  Some places have kept records about a tree or an important plant like at the University of Arizona. Today I begin my second visual record of the El Presidio Gardens.  There is progress, but I'll warn you.....some of it is in transition! PS.  There is never an end to the amount of material I have for this blog.  I have been saving all of my work for years just for this kind of thing.:)  There are a lot of pics for this moderate sized property. 
The fern garden is currently my masterpiece sample.  It's coming along nicely with some fine tuning to be done in spring.
One of the reasons for this blog is to keep a record of our grounds and show the progress being made every year. It's also to explain the thoughts and ideas of the current homeowners for why they've done what they've done, like for example, our pool being filled.  This blog allows current homeowners and renters to read what's going on around our place at all times.  Down the road, it will allow a future gardener/homeowner, like myself, to read why I planted what I did and understand the thinking behind the placement of a tree or shrub.  No one is perfect, but as time goes, modifications are made.  Change is always happening for gardeners, and that's just the process:) This is the purpose of a blog or gardening diary. Wouldn't it be nice to know that when we purchased a new place, we'd get a blog or diary on the landscape?
The courtyard.  Where do I begin?  The balance is off.  As promised, I will have a lot of El Presidio information coming up.  This summer has been a transition for everyone.   The pool is gone and filled in, but what shall we do?  Stay tuned for the transformations.
This year has been a difficult year in the garden and landscape due to our winter's freeze and MAJOR projects.  But I'll catch you all up over the course of several days.  After all that is what part of this blog is about.  I feel good that we've done some major work, but I also have to be patient with the reconstruction of the landscape.  It's a constant battle and a SLOW process. We've hired someone to look at our pool and give us a professional plan.  That post will be coming up and titled, "Decisions, Decisions".  For now, let's look at the property and the various sections.  What are the plans? What are the issues?
The front area needs a little fix.  The balance is off.  Cactus have been added on the left side to give this area a little desert punch.
This planter is where my tropical addictions go.  I love caladiums and elephant ears but I can't place them all over the property because they require too much water.
The area above needs to have the live oak saplings pruned back.  The wells also need some work.  I'd like to put my upright cactus here.
This ramada area needs a rake with some vines on the side.  The top is covered with cat's claw and solar lights.  Colorful pots will also address the side areas to make this space POP!!
The fern garden is near completion but on the left side of this space I have some work to do.  A privet needs to be removed.  More bamboo will be added. But who will dig the holes?
This space is on the fern garden side and will be a cactus garden.
Potted area full of citrus, dwarf fruit trees and vinca. 
Overgrown area of morning glory vine. This space will be "fixed" in spring.
Back to the courtyard.  A crepe myrtle is looking terrible.  I am going to cut it down and begin at "ground zero".  I think this will create a stronger and healthier looking plant.  I've done it with one already and it's has done well with this treatment.
The fruit garden is almost completely finished.  But the side planters must be addressed this fall and spring.
The courtyard is an eyesore for many homeowners....especially those trying to sell their places.  The HOA has had to wait for the dirt in the pool to sink a bit with our rains before putting a professional design in.  When getting rid of your pool, remember that it is a year long process for many people. Sometimes longer.....
This space needs to more rose bushes....and some cleaning up.
This space will be redefined in spring.  Cactus and other smaller shrubs will be added to give this space a little punch.
This side area will take time, but the Tree of Heaven(or Hell) has been placed in this contained area where it is spreading copies of itself all along this planter.  Remember keep this invasive plant in an area from other plants.
Those rocks along the courtyard will be removed and placed in the back of this garden to highlight other plants.
More torchglow bougainvillea will be planted in this area. It LOVES the hot western sun.  Does well with little to no watering.
The Whiskey Barrels are doing well and the various cacti are growing. Little to no water for this northern exposure.
Castor plants add that purple punch to the front entrance. 
The former pool area is the biggest challenge.  What will our professional designer tell us?
Hope you've enjoyed a quick view on some of the work we have ahead of us this fall and spring.  Our workday for homeowners is scheduled October 23rd at 9 AM. Lunch is provided:)  Stay tuned for more news on the El Presidio Grounds.


  1. Such a great idea to keep records like when one stays at one place long enough ;-) even when one does not... re ;-)
    The easiest way to recognize a black chinned hummingbird: the white spot next to the eye.

  2. You DO have your work cut out but the good thing is you have plans and know-how. It takes lots of patience, time, and energy to implement all the changes you've recorded. One section at a time is my philosophy.

    Love your caladiums/tropicals... you're smart to keep them where you can water them easily.

  3. I am glad you have kept that lovely shape of your pool and looking forward to what "the professionals" tell you do do with it. I have recently planted a lot of plants around our pool to give some privacy.

  4. They say that having a plan equals to a half of a work! I hope you'll have good helpers!

  5. You'll be amazed in a year and the transformation. You have a lot of projects going It will all come together!

  6. nice...remind me to send you a poem about the tree of is wonderful
    Love to hear you talk abut nipping and tucking away....can't wait to see more pictures
    I hope the person doesn't tell you to put a pool there ;-)


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