Thursday, March 8, 2012

The South Side

So, let me preface this post by saying that I am more than a little embarrassed to show you these photos.  This is not one of my finer moments.

The south side of our yard is absolutely the sunniest spot.  The absence of large trees and the giant open space make it a great place to do some real gardening...the only problem is, I'm not a gardener.  

Or I wasn't.  I've always just excused my lack of plant cultivation by saying that I have a brown thumb, but last year I put that excuse to the test.  I planted five new plants in my yard: a basil, some chives, red and orange hibiscus, elephant ear, and a philodendron.  Of those, all of them survived the winter except the basil -- but I didn't bring him inside.  Besides, my mom told me that, until this year, all her basil plants have died every year and she just gets a new one the following spring.  So, all in all, not too bad.  

The hibiscus plants are thriving, and before the blooming season ended last fall, they were gorgeous -- an explosion of red and orange.  The philodendron is also doing very well, despite the fact that I have him in a shadier spot (everything I've read says that they should be in sunnier locations).  And the elephant ear is also doing well.  Whenever I leave the house to go somewhere, I always inspect these guys, and I get so excited when I see new leaves uncurling.  It's actually pretty fun to plant stuff.  They're like my little green babies. 

But I'm not as proud of the south side of my yard.  This is why:

But wait, there's more:


Weed city.  With little dirt patch suburbs.  And a hodge podge of wimpy or sickly looking plants that would earn me more than one stern lecture from any semi-serious gardener.  Here, let me show you.

There're the sorry little sego palms:

The poor and discolored sea grapes:

The scrubby little yucca:

And the scrawny bottlebrush, with my one bloom so far.  At least that one bloom is very nice.

And the star of this little show is my Valentine's gift this year.  I still love her, and I especially love her because she's the one plant that looks well cared for:

My baby orange tree!  And look:

Orange blossoms!

I'm proud of those blossoms.  They weren't there when Dave gave me the tree last month, so it must mean that we're doing something right.  Stick an orange tree in the sun and give it plenty of water, and I guess she'll be all right.

Anyway, back to the problem at hand.  I really don't like to be in the south side of our yard right now.  In fact, it's pretty easy to ignore.  We have a ranch style house, very long, and if you wanted to, you could easily forget that it's even over there.  

Except that a few weeks ago, we put the playset right beside it, so now I have to look at it every single day. And it's given me the itch to do something about it.  

Nat Nat really wants us to grow a vegetable garden.  We have a great little book called Growing Vegetable Soup, by Lois Ehlert, that we read often around here:

It's given the girl some ideas.  And me, too.  

I want some planter boxes.  And I want to do this:

This sweet little set up is from a great blog called Domesticated Nomad.  I found that picture via Pinterest months ago and I can't get it out of my head.    That's why I asked Dave to cut up a tree trunk for me, and guess what?  He did!

Hmmm...looking at the picture again, I can see that I'll need a lot more tree trunk stepping stones.  I'll have to work on that.  

The rest of my plan for the south side of my yard includes removing the bottlebrush.  Very sorry little guy, but you are disappointing to say the least, and you're soaking up way too much sun.  I also want to find an appropriate spot to plant the orange tree.  Somewhere on the side of things, but still in the sun.  And I want to leave a large space in the middle for us to have our vegetable garden.  I'm not sure what I want to plant yet, but probably the usual variety of stuff.  I know that I want kale -- I've been making kale chips a lot lately, and they are so yummy...mmmm....I could go for some right now, in fact.  

Thanks for reading!


  1. That is a great idea to use tree trunk stepping stones! That will look great. I am in the same spot with my yard for a similar weeds and other types of plants. The previous owners were gardening enthusiasts...and we are not. We're hoping to put forth some effort besides mulching this year. We will see. Good luck with your projects. megan

    1. Good luck to you too. I'll be checking your blog to see what you come up with...maybe we can encourage each other :)

  2. Such potential with your south side lawn. I feel the same way about seeing new growth on plants - so rewarding. I LOVE the tree trunk stepping stones. Very cool!

    1. Thanks! I'll have to post some updates soon. I think the next step is building out some frames.


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