Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Step by Step.

Step by Step, every little bit helps. 
At the beginning of the year we worked on getting the sprinklers in the ground. Doing little things like putting in sprinklers takes so much more time than you think. 
Anyway in March we were ready to plant grass seed! I was so excited....... 
One of my dreams finally......

Look the lovely little seedlings were starting to pop up! 

Then the rains came and washed away a lot of our hard work. And Boy, when it Rains in California it Pours!  The ground is so dry the water mostly sits on the top and pools. 
So we have been fighting the good fight with sporadic grass but plenty 
of weeds thanks to the fertilizer we put down first.
Oh weeds how I dislike you!

In the last couple of weeks we have been trying to clear some of the rocks off the bank so we can plant......yes, my precious flowers at long last. Hubby had the idea of using some of many rocks that still remain to make tiered planters so it would be easier to plant. The more we cleared those darn rocks the more we found. But using the rocks to build mini dry walls was just exhausting and so time consuming. My attempt at wall building was really bad, they kept falling down and I was getting rather frustrated with them. So I had this great idea of buying cheap cement blocks to make tiers. After all when the plants grow in you're not going to see them right??? Well that's my theory anyway! We went to our local hardware store and bought 30 to see if they would work. When we saw that they looked okay, B. sent me back on my own to buy 40 more, because if I went on my own the young guys would not only load them on the cart for me, they would also load them into the bed of the the truck. He was right and it saved us both a lot of extra work.

We had to put up a canopy for some much needed shade. I know my british family and friends will be wishing they had this sun too! As much as I love the sunshine, the heat does get too much sometimes. Not that I'm complaining mind you, I'm really not a rainy day person. But when the heat gets too much we have to close up the house, shut all the windows and doors and put the air conditioning on. To me it might as well be raining outside. I love it when it's just right and I can throw open all the doors and windows and hear the birds singing and children playing.

The tiered planters are starting to come together now. 
Oh and do you see our trees along the fence line??? 
Look how big and bushy they have gotten in just over a year.
 Maybe next year we won't need the bamboo fencing.

Leveling and weeding as we go and tossing the large rocks further up the top.

Almost ready!!!!
Off we go to the garden center to take a look at what plants we could finally plant.
Do you know, after waiting sooooo long to be able to choose plants, I found it was really quite overwhelming. So many plants to choose from!!! Oh dear, where do I start??? 
I had no idea!

We came home with a few plants, Geraniums, Lavender, Alyssum, Lobelia,  and Petunias! 
Yes, I went to safe route. I bought a few plants I knew and bought some safe bedding plants. 

They look so bright and colorful sitting on the wall, but it's not enough to fill up the planter.
We bought some good soil to help the plants grow and on our next trip to the garden center that same day, we bought a few more plants. Let me see what else did we get..... 
Mexican Heather-Lavender Lace, Tiger Eye Rudbekia, Dwarf Canna, a Dahlia or two, Bowles Periwinkle, Violet Cloud Hybrid Skullcap, Osterospermum High Voltage-also known as African Daisies, and two Mexican Evening Primroses.

To be on the safe side I bought a few more bedding plants, some Vinca as they are doing so well in the front garden, Angelonia,  although I'd never heard about it or seen it before, but it looked pretty just sitting there, and last but not least some bright colorful zinnia's.

It's all starting to come together.
We still need lots and lots of more plants, but that will have to wait until after we come back from our trip to Wales otherwise we won't have enough spending money while we are there. 
I will have to do some research first I think or ask my green fingered friends for help maybe.

The last two weekends we have spent cleaning up the upper paddock as we like to call it. 
It's still very much a wilderness up there as you can see.

It looks quite barren up there except for the odd fruit tree here and there.

We still have a lot of work ahead of us! 

But for now I will just sit with a nice cold drink and enjoy my little splash of color. 

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