Week One

The green looks pretty, but its all weeds that need to be mowed every few weeks, and palm fronds that must be cut in accordance with fire restrictions. A watershed. A streambed is below the property.

All that green looks gorgeous, but it is foxtail, Russian tumbleweed, and other invasive non-natives that produce seeds that harm not only my dogs, but any wild animals that get into them.  Foxtails ( Alopecurus ) were introduced into California by the Spaniards as graze for cattle, and quickly took over, and the pointy seeds hurt and kill many animals every year.  Mowing is not only time-consuming but polluting.  The Washingtonia palms grow like weeds and are-invasive in streambeds.  These were planted by the previous owner. (No, I don’t know what he was thinking.  He pulled out a lime grove to plant them.)  Since the fronds are so flammable, in this fire zone all dry fronds must be pruned off, which is expensive and painful (thorns!).  I am keeping a couple of these palms on the lower end of the property because orioles love to nest in them, and so do raccoons. The rest will be cut and used back into the design of the property.

These sheds must come down.

Sheds that had been put up by the previous owner out of scrap pieces are slowly coming down on their own.  Since I don’t want to be inside when they do, the sheds must be taken down and replaced.  Everything that can be reused into the garden structure will be saved.  The raised veggie beds have been an ongoing project of mine for years; these are lined on the bottom with aviary wire to prevent little gopher friends from dining.

        

Jury-rigged retaining walls made out of scrap lumber, wire fencing and corrigated aluminum had been installed by the previous owner and held up for years.  Recycling:great.  Unsightly: yes.  Dangerous: ohhh yeahhh.  Some areas have been giving way during recent floods when the upper property funneled the neighborhood water down through this to the streambed below.  Non-native jade plant (Crassula ovata) grows all over one section, which helps hold the embankment but also prevents natives from re-seeding. 

The project begins!

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