Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rain stopped - play!

(To borrow and re-punctuate a phrase from Wimbledon)

We got a lot done today, and the rain held off. Leah came over and spent all day helping us! We are gobsmacked. She is a trained arborist and pruned the cherry-plum trees and others and they are about to burst into bloom looking "shipshape and Bristol fashion", at last. (Matt suggested that that area is so nice now that we should put a bench there to enjoy it.)

She taught me a lot about tree pruning so maybe next year I can have a go myself, and she also pruned the Tibouchina urvilleana (Princess plant) because a) it was in desperate need b) I don't have all sorts of cunning Japanese saws and so on and c) let's face it, I would have done it all wrong! So fingers crossed, that plant will get it's act together soon.

Leah also recommended moving a few plants as I put them in too close to others, so I did just that. Then later on she gave me even more plants and seeds when I dropped her off at her house, so I get to plant even more stuff tomorrow. *rubs hands together gleefully* We are reeling from this generosity - thank you Leah!

Another person who came by was John, a craigslister who responded to my begging ad for plants and garden stuff. He said he had some Yucca cuttings, and I thought "yeah sure - why not try cuttings... they can only die on me." What he brought over was in fact 8 gigantic pieces of yucca (some over 6' long!) as well as rooted and not-rooted prickly pears (Opuntia) and a potted agave! Matt and I planted the Yuccas along Gary's wall, interspersed with the Crassula ovata (Jade Plants) I'd rescued recently (they'd started rooting!) and the effect was instantly exotic. Wow.

Lots of people met today, I have to say. A gentleman who lives directly across from the lot, John, dropped by to give encouragement. Robert Poyas the landscape designer came to say hello as he's involved in doing up the triangle area above our lot. And on the way back from lunch we met Max's neighbor, Tommy, who welcomed us to use their yard to store tools.

Later in the afternoon we were surprised to see craigslist John drive up again. Get this: he brought us a big bag full of agave plants/runners with roots! Matt put them in between the Yuccas and Jades and this is now my absolute favorite part of the garden. When the other Agaves and prickly pears have rooted (in the house), we'll add them too. As Leah noted the blueness of the Agaves works perfectly with the grey of Gary's wall. It's stunning. I'm in succulent heaven!

I also found a palm seedling and brought it in the house to grow on, discovered another uprooted spider plant, and removed many bags of dog poop left on the lot. Yuck. But all in all, it was a long, rewarding day on the lot. I'll take some pics tomorrow as it is dark now.


  1. You're doing a GREAT job!! We're living at 208 pennsylvania and we are so impressed, thanks for all you're doing to make this area nicer. The bench is a very good idea ;-)

  2. Thanks Caroline! It's been very encouraging to get such appreciative comments :)


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