Monday, May 7, 2012

Reframing my ideas about the back garden

Between last year's drought, this year's construction, and the ravaging affects of four dogs, the back garden is a worn and weary place. Much still survives back there, however, including my optimism. This is a perfect opportunity to rethink the garden design and to create something that is much more resistant to tough, dry years like the one we just had here on the Southern High Plains. I think that's important because like it or not, believe it or not, climate change is already happening, and I think there is a strong chance we'll see more tough years in the future.

So maybe it seems funny to you that I'm talking about optimism and a tough climate future in the same paragraph, but there it is. Change is here; might as well start figuring out how we're going to live with it. It is time to reframe our thinking about the garden.

So here are some before photos of the back garden in its current beat up, drought stricken state:

Trust me, it used to be a lovely place--a kind of sylvan woodland glade, if you will. Alas, it is no more, and it will never be that again. An arid climate simply will not support many of the plants that might have once thrived here. Despair not, however, for over the next couple of years it will be reborn as a high desert courtyard space, with Mexican/Morrocan/Texas influences. That blue pot fountain in the photo above is new, and should provide a hint of things to come. I'll start first with the hardscaping, since it is already too late to be planting anything with any hopes of establishing it before the heat hits. First up on the project list (hopefully this coming weekend) is to build new corrugated sheet metal planter boxes using recycled redwood for this patio area:
 I'll keep you posted on my progress.

P.S. that new siding looks awesome, don't you think? And the best part? The house no longer leaks like a sieve in a hard thunderstorm.

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