Thursday, May 09, 2013

Calling in the Cavalry

Yesterday, Noelle of azplantlady.com fame came to my house for a garden consultation. I have a few spots around the garden that have been vexing me, so I thought I’d get some help. I am so glad I did! I asked her questions about my front yard, back yard, side yard… you name it. She had great ideas for all!

Front yard

My husband and I have been thinking for a long time of replacing the trees in our front yard. They look like big, messy mops, need to be pruned a LOT, and don’t provide much shade. Epic fail. I had gotten my heart set on a Chilean Mesquite to replace at least one of the trees, and just thought I’d ask Noelle about placement.

Save #1 from Noelle! Apparently, of all the trees you see around this valley, Chilean Mesquites blow down the most often during our storm seasons. They also require a lot of pruning, which I’m probably too lazy for. So as beautiful as they are, Chilean Mesquites are out. Now I’m looking at a Vitex or Desert Musuem Palo Verde, which are also beautiful and much lower maintenance. Ah, that’s more like it.



Desert Museum Palo Verde or Vitex? How to Choose?

While she was at it, Noelle also gave me some great tips on good plants to fill out my landscape, how to save money getting the old trees removed, and finding an inexpensive, high-quality plants and trees.

Side yard

I have this big expanse of unused space in my side yard that grows nothing but weeds. It just gnaws at me that there’s nothing pretty or useful there. Save #2 from Noelle! I’ve been thinking of blackberries for quite a while now, and she says that’s a good spot for them. I should be able to fit a lot of them in and can even get thornless ones for pain-free picking. Sold!


Mmm. I can almost taste ‘em now

Back yard

Here’s where the real magic happened. Noelle helped me with lots of things, but most exciting of all, she helped me find room for another raised bed for vegetables. Be still my heart! (Guess what the hubby will be making me for Mother’s Day this year.) Expect to see pictures soon!

Noelle also gave me some great companion planting tips:
  • Apple trees—Plant garlic around them to prevent borers.
  • Grapes—Plant squash around them in the summer to shade the roots.
  • Vegi beds—Plant thyme and basil throughout the beds in the summer to stave off bugs, marigolds and nasturtiums in the fall. Also, plant vines along the cinder block wall near the raised beds to prevent reflective heat from burning the vegis.
She also gave me some great ideas for creating special flower beds just for the kiddo, inexpensive and effective ways to fertilize and mulch the vegis, installing an irrigation system dedicated to the vegis, using organic ingredients for weed control… the list goes on and on.
Pretty awesome, right?

Update (May 24, 2013):

We mentioned to the kiddo last night that we were thinking of replacing the trees in the front yard, and she burst out into tears. Apparently, she loves those trees. How can I cut them down now? So instead of new trees, we're buying a new hedge trimmer to keep up with the maintenance on the old ones. C'est la vie!

1 comment:

Patricia Walker said...
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