California Natives Gardening – Turning the front-yard into a habitat oasis

While we tackle on the larger front yard, we realized what an eye-sore the brick front-bed was.  It wasn’t so much as a realization, but a frank remark by our friendly neighbor.

In all honesty our brick bed is a hodge-podge of sun-starved roses, anemic succulents, aggressive jupiter beards, straggly nasturtiums, and a forgotten daffodil or two – all making their exhausted way out of the confined space of a damp brick bed, enfeebled under the chilly shadow of the beloved-tract house.

The pandemonium resides under the cold wooden face of the beloved tract-house, which gently dusts the leaves with the flakes of the blue paint-dust, so that the end result is a bed of bluish-ethereal fairy plants – too coddled to die, but too miserable to bloom as they should. Hence our kindly neighbor suggested we move the roses, and to plant something else instead.  So, if our front yard project wasn’t enough, we are now also thinking about planting a narrow strip of a brick bed with something appropriate.

Front brick bed
Rose hips look beautiful in the dreary winter
East facing brick bed –  Zephrin Drouhan rose which never blooms, wild mint, weeds, and woody purple hibiscus

Let me tell you, the smaller the space – the more difficult it is to plant ‘something appropriate’.  We also had to consider our future projects – putting in a big window on the stern wooden face of our beloved tract-house and re-painting it.  At a later date, when we can gather a pot of money….

As we were digging out the roses last evening, my husband remarked that I always ended up planting too many plants in too little a space.  Since it’s true – there was no refuting the truth.  But then I said it was the same thing with his tools – they are all over the house.  Every drawer or cabinet houses a drill bit or two.   As we worked away in silence, ruminating the other’s weakness for certain possessions  – the truth dawned that it was all for a good cause.

‘Tis better to invest in the house than a new pair of boots.  In the age of marching global consumerism, let us remember that in the end that it’s not the ‘thing’ that will make us better, but a new bloom or new coat of paint on the cabinets – basically, the work that we do and the happiness we find in it.  Investing in and working on our garden and our beloved tract-house gives us and our families much pleasure.


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