Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Terra, Flora, and a Salad (but not necessarily in that order)

The lawn continues to thicken in places, and in other places, it is trying to take hold.  Leveling is still a challenge, and over-seeding is still taking place.  Raking rocks has become the "dread-but-must-do" task, and the simple pleasure of mowing yet abides.

Low angles are good for viewing many of my lawn areas now, because it is the only way it looks like we have real turf.  Don't get me wrong, it is coming along, but not fast enough for me.  It is coming along at the right rate, mind you, I just want to see quicker results.  That's why pictures in time-lapse are good; they remind me it is all progressing as expected.

I still have some low spots in the front which I need to level in order to improve drainage.  The last major leveling effort was effective, but I knew it would need to be tweaked.  I watered the lawn until it was soaked and could see the low areas in need of filling.  I need to remember to fluff the existing grass through the fill-soil so that it does not get smothered.

I rake the flanks of the property for rocks now, using my three-foot (0.9 m) landscaping rake.  Rocks occupy soil in a manner such they grass cannot grow it.  Rocks facilitate erosion scarps.  Rocks retain heat and dry the soil around them.  Rocks and grass do not play well together.  All along both sides of our 150-foot+ driveway, I have rocks seeping through from the days of construction.  With every rain there is a new rock reveal.  The only effective means of removing them is raking with the landscape rack.  I have tried others, but the landscape rake is the most efficient.  I will be raking well into the month of May.

The landscaped plants are in bloom, or very near to blooming!  The native flora is coming along well, also, with a few surprises (next blog).  I have pictures from African Iris, Red Yucca, and our Dogwood trees on this post.  We have lost about half of our prostrate rosemary, and our landscaper will replace it.  We do not know what problem the plants experienced.

Mowing is still the easiest and most satisfying aspect of my lawn care -- at this point.  I do the raking, edging, weed-whacking, trail maintenance, debris-blowing, adjusting sprinklers and their heads, and mowing.  Mowing feels like a reward after I have done the other stuff.

And I did not forget about the salad (see below)...

Enjoy the pictures:

One of my trouble areas in the front, still holding water hours after 16 minutes
of irrigation.  This needs to be resolved by filling and leveling.

Same area, different perspective using the sun to illuminate the standing
water.  When filling and leveling, I must take care that I do not damage the
existing grass.

Surprise!  This is a new project: growing native grasses in four-inch (10 cm)
pots.  I have Pink Muhly, Mexican Feathergrass, Little Bluestem, Blue Grama,
and Texoka Buffalograss.  I want to start them and then place them in different
areas between the house and the "wild" areas.

Here is a picture of the landscaping in the front of the house.  There is still
more to add, but in general, what is here is growing well.

The Red Yucca is coming along beautifully.

Our African Iris flowers are blooming in greater numbers now.

When will the Dogwoods bloom?  Can we be any closer?  The warm temperatures
and sunny days which loom ahead could pop the blossoms!

A Leaning Oak salad -- a meal unto itself.  I got into making "meal salads"
while I was in France, but this is the first one I have made at Leaning Oak.
It contains a "spring blend" of greens, walnuts, pine nuts, green olives,
tomato, carrots, dried cranberries, Italian salami and coppa, Serrano ham,
and topped with O2B2: Olive Oil , Balsamic Blanc (White Balsamic
Vinegar), and a dash of sea salt.  Enjoyed on the lanai.