Between professional duties, I have been creating a garden around my new porch. This has required days of digging – both to remove concrete, boulders, brick fragments, wood, nails, wire and trash from the dirt and to add compost to improve the soil. Most of the bushels of concrete bits I dug out were hand-sized or smaller, with a few the size of my head. The big surprise was an exceptionally heavy boulder, more than twice the size of my head, which for some reason was sunk deep in the planting bed. It took an hour to dig around it enough to pry up an edge, then roll it out without cracking the PVC water pipe it was nestled against. I dug through old patches of sand, concrete rubble, sawdust, and clay from the various uses to which this ground has been put since 1930. Other than ornamental rocks, the only item I discovered worth keeping was half a fork with a drilled end, probably part of an old wind chime.
The major plants I put in are drought-resistant and should do well in our hot San Jose California summers:
- Phormium (“Pink Stripe” and “Black Taya” New Zealand Flax)
- Lavandula (“Goodwin Creek” and French Lavender)
- Rosemary (prostrate)
Ground covers include Dymondia and Blue Fescue. The only plant to survive the construction (and heavy-booted construction workers) is the Meyer Lemon which seems much happier since we took away the fence and vine that were next to it. I hope we get more rain to help settle the new plants before the weather gets much warmer.
Images Copyright 2012-2013 by Katy Dickinson