The front yard was largly landscaped with Junipers and grass:
Behind the garage we have this pitiful rose garden, and a total wasteland on the slope:
First step was to commission a proper survey of the yard to find the property lines:
Click on the image to see a full size version
There are quite steep slopes on the northern sides of the lot. if you climb all the way up the hill in back (to the corner in the upper right of the drawing) you are eye level with the top of the house.
Next was to meet with a landscape designer to work out a plan for the whole yard, preferably a plan that can be implemented in stages. First version can be seen at left. (Once again click to get a full sized rendering).
This was in turn revised. The observant amoung you will notice that the lap pool has dissappeared from the plan. Never fear, it is not forgotton, only posponed.
First order of business is demolition. The biggest items on this list were a large pine the back yard (a beatiful tree but was hanging over the house). and this Ficus which has terribly overgrown it's space
Lunch time for the workers... As you can see they've only barely made a dent in the Ficus.
And as for the pine, you can see it there in the background as they slowly make their way up removing the branches.
The first of many full loads!
And of course this makes rather a lot of wood:
This is Day 3. The pine is all the way down, great piles of wood everwhere:
After two full weeks of work the front yard now looks like this. (Compare with the first photo above).
Note that there are still piles of debris and a few plants left behind. Yet another week and a half later the same view now looks like this:
Bare dirt, ready for planting. (well not quite, they still have to install new irrigation.)
Meanwhile in the wasteland behind the garage work is progressing on the new terraces:
The first two terraces will become vegetable garden. (where the 101 and 105 elevation notes are on the drawing). The space between the walk and the first wall will be rose garden.
Almost cleared hillside. The trench is for a new drainage line.
A day later first walls starting to take shape. Notice the very black soil piled in the foreground. This must have been a burn site before the neighorbood was built.
Up to two levels!
March 5: After taking the preceding week off, the crew is back to work. By the end of the week the walls are finaly finished
Now it is time for some plants!
Our utility yard is now starting to look like a small nursery:
Except that everything now has to grow...
Note that the grass is even starting to sprout. The two new tall trees are Sycamores.
Vegetable garden is about half planted.
Tomatos in their Cages, Strawberries behind
Seedling Peppers... Not sure they are going to make it
|Well things have certainly grown. Here's a happy farmer standing behind her tomato crop:|
|Also note the strawberrys in the front row and the yellow squash off to the right.|
Above Left: Artichoke Flower
Right: Dill in full bloom.
Below: Cucumbers. We've been harvesting 10-15 per week for the past several
Artichoke above started as a 1-Gallon pot
Below: Even the Habenero peppers seem to be making it now.