Monthly Archives: March 2009

Sunny Eichler Courtyard

 

bright and happy pots

bright and happy pots

The homeowners

of this Eichler house

wanted the courtyard

to be very colorful-

hence these almost

(I did say almost!) garish pots.

It was actually a fun job.

This “over-the-hill” courtyard

had lots of southern exposure

and I was able to use many plants

that wouldn’t have done as well in Half Moon Bay.

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Job done… after pics and more

 

Woodland path looking a bit neglected...

Woodland path looking a bit neglected...

   “Fluffing” job is done.  Whew. LOTS of weeding. Mostly done by Perry, Dave, Scott and Juan, but of course I followed them around from time to time, pulling the stragglers. We also did a lot of pruning, tired/dead plant removal and planting. The property looks great and the clients are pleased. Yay.

   This garden was planted 25 years ago by the original homeowner. A lot of do-it -yourself stuff, for the most part aesthetically pleasing, but some components haven’t held up structurally so well. So…I never felt like we were completely DONE. I wanted everything to look perfect (relatively), but had to keep reminding myself that it wasn’t possible- without a total redo. I was there to refresh (fluff!) the property for a special occasion, and that’s what we did.

   Here’s an example of the subtle (sublime?) changes that we wrought over three days. The woodland path was weeded, pruned (look up at the  tree canopy on both images) and the paving was cleaned- making sure to not take ALL the moss away!  A lot more light now filters down on the ferns, forget-me-nots and the Iris. Kinda makes you want to take a stroll, doesn’t it?

Woodland path...nice and tidy

Woodland path...nice and tidy

 

Below:    This view was the first thing you saw when you parked at the house.

 

first impression...before

first impression...before

 

    There was a 90% dead Hebe hedge (left through center),

    a really messy Phormium(right)

    and a whole planting bed in need of care

    that you can’t see behind the hedge.

 

 

 

First impression of house and garden

First impression of house and garden... after

   Right: This is how the same view  looked when we were done

 

Hebe hedge gone,

all plants cleaned up,

new plants and mulch added

and potted sucullents added

near the cool

horse head hitching posts.

 

 

                        Here’s a closer look at the pot next to the hitching post.

detail of new pot with sucullents

close up of new pot with sucullents

  There is an identical twin to this pot and hitching post just about ten feet to the right, flanking the entrance to the front walk, just out of camera shot.

 

On to the next job!

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Filed under Alamo St., jobs, Montara, Uncategorized

New Job…..before pics

   Just started a job today- not a design job, but should be a fun quickie. The clients want the areas around the house “fluffed up”,  so their property looks good for an upcoming event. It was a beautiful, sunny day and felt quite peaceful and idyllic up there. My crew- Perry (the drill sergeant), Dave & Juan did a great job, even when a yellow jacket nest was uncovered. Juan got stung 3 times, so they took turns working near the nest. So brave! 😉 Here’s some before shots… I’ll post after pics in a few days.

sunny fountain bed

sunny fountain bed

 

plum tree bed

plum tree bed

 

front walk

front walk

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new letterhead design

   Take a look at my new letterhead that my designer just sent me. I like it! It’s nice to be slowly getting “professionalized”. I’m trying not to kick and scream too much as I’m being dragged into this century. (that’s kind of funny- that I think letterhead is something modern!!)

 

super official letterhead by Rev1 Imaging

super official letterhead by Rev1 Imaging

    This is part of my campaign to better market myself- something I will be working on this year…

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The Beauty and the Benefits of Clover

Trifolium repens (Dutch White Clover) in bloom

Trifolium repens (Dutch White Clover) in bloom

Once upon a time, clover was an acceptable part of a lawn mixture… but then came the era of the “Perfect Lawn”. Though many of us are still stuck in this mode, we’re also torn because we know that perfect turf lawns are expensive to maintain, time consuming and bad for the environment. But what to do??

I’ll share my story with you:

When I moved into my house, the front yard was basically just a gopher mangled lawn and and a few half-dead shrubs. I tore all this out and planted a variety of fairly drought-tolerant plants that are all doing fine 3 1/2 yrs later. Included in the new design was a very small (aprx. 10′ x 12′) lawn area. My front garden is west-facing, so I thought we might want to sit out there in the afternoons. It turns out the only sitting we do out there is on the porch or steps, or while pulling weeds! The lawn isn’t much more than a pretty swath surrounding the path to the side gate, though I still spend time mowing and watering and feeling guilty when I don’t. So… I thought I’d try something new this year. This spring I’m going to over-seed my lawn with white Dutch Clover (Trifolium repens) seed, and this is why I think you should too:

– Clover is a nitrogen fixer- meaning it takes nitrogen from the atmosphere and collects it in nodes on it’s roots and passes it into the soil- meaning once the clover is established in your lawn, you don’t need to fertilize it any more. Yep.

– It grows fine in poor soil and is drought tolerant, Also, it stays green through the summer. All of which adds up to a lot less watering your lawn. Uh huh.

– No more using broadleaf herbicide. (because it will kill the clover, but don’t worry, the clover will crowd out other “weeds”) This is starting to sound better and better.

– Bees love it! We all know they need all the help they can get right now. (one caveat; be careful if you’re allergic to bee stings- this may not be the right choice for you) Go bees.

– Clover tolerates low-mowing (you’ll just have less flowers) and, get this; doesn’t turn yellow when your doggy friends use it as a potty. Wow.

trifolium_repens_flowers

– It’s pretty! Who doesn’t like beauty? (I mean besides Oscar the Grouch) You can enjoy this beauty close-up while making flower necklaces and crowns, and searching for 4-leaf clovers!

What does all this mean?? It means you get to have a nice, green lawn without using chemicals or lots of water. Selfishly, this adds up to less maintenance time for you and unselfishly, you get to be an earth-saving hero! Yay you.

You can get the seed on-line at groworganic.com. Make sure you get white Dutch Clover. There are many kinds of clover and some aren’t appropriate for home lawns.
Mix the seed with compost or soil mix and distribute evenly, following instructions, over freshly raked and weeded lawn. Water regularly (if no rain) for a few weeks. It may be necessary to reseed in 2-3 years to make sure the clover gets firmly established.

Let’s let go of our need for the “Perfect Lawn” and go with more of what nature intended… the imperfectly perfect lawn!

CML

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