Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Everything has been put to bed, so to speak...

Yesterday I reached an important milestone: all areas immediately adjacent to the house have their landscaping done (OK, one area has a plan, which it did not have last week, and that plan will execute after the holidays) and we have entered into maintenance mode.  The building of trails in our wooded area will be next year's project.

I brought in six yards of mulch, 1/2 yard of topsoil, 19 lantana, five coneflowers, and planted our three potted yellow mums.  All the beds have been addressed.  The maintenance remaining mostly involves lawn care, and overseeding the lawn areas when spring arrives.

Further, it is berry season now, and I have enclosed some pictures to highlight the colors which surround us.
Here are the pictures as we close this important chapter at Leaning Oak.

The bed where the bougainvillea lives received fresh mulch -- 18
wheelbarrows of it.  I also moved some spare flagstone to add accent.

The bougainvillea will get a sister plant, and between the two of them, we
will install a small fountain.  The plan is set, and due to execute in early 2017.

The stairs and terrace received their lantana and mulch.  There are 19 lantana
plants, with nine on each side of the stairs and one at the back of the terrace
(to conceal a standpipe).  The lantana will help minimize erosion adjacent to
the stairs, and we will add solar-powered lighting in the spring.

Our stone two-car garage, originally designated as an outside recreation room,
is now the home of our lawn maintenance vehicles.  It is a pretty structure, in
my opinion, as the multi-colored stone creates visual interest.  A stone wall
needs ivy (my opinion), and we have fig ivy in place.  We planted yellow mums
(foreground) and pink coneflowers (middle row) for color.  Both are perennials
in our area.  The stone in the bed covers a drain box and prevents it from clogging.

The Yaupon holly has come forth with brilliant red berries. Its cousin, the
American holly, will have its berries by Thanksgiving (next week).

A close of the Yaupon berries -- makes a nice computer wallpaper!

The American Beautyberry, though mostly leafless, is strutting its colors.

I found one with a pair of leaves intact, just to give context.

We are not allowed (per our trash service) to put landscaping and construction
trash out for pickup.  We do what other country-folks do -- we have a burn day.
We wait for a good rain to make sure the flora around us is not threatened, which
can take a few weeks during some times of the year.  Here, we are burning a lot
of landscaping debris, debris from the construction of our dog run, and debris
from the construction of  the stairs and terrace.  The remnants have been cleared
and grass seed sown over the ground where the burn took place.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A test for all the landscaping work...

We had a good rain yesterday, recording 0.5 inches (1.27 cm) of rainfall.  It all fell over a couple of hours.  We had standing water from the driveway run-off.  The new French drains worked beautifully, as there was no standing water an hour after the rain stopped.  There was no fast-moving water seen -- the dry creek bed, with its bullrock providing orders of magnitude more surface area for the water to traverse, slowed flow from the top of our property as planned.  The new berm did its job.  The run-off ditch did have water in it; it just filled rather slowly, as we had planned.  Both the dry creek bed and the French drain system feed the run-off ditch.

We are very pleased with the outcomes of this first test.  I know more wait for us in the future as we are getting ready to hit our "wet season".

The dry creek bed and French drains (to the left, out of the picture) feed
the drainage ditch, but one sees no surface water in the creek bed and
would only see a little standing water around the French drains during the rain.

The drainage ditch has water, but its flow is much slower than one would find
in previous pictures of water flow.  The berm is minimizing any waterfalls which
have come through the woods at this juncture.