Monday, February 02, 2009

Time for Spring?

It looks like spring has officially come to the San Francisco Bay Area, especially in our yard. I took these pictures just yesterday, and to compare to last year, they are exactly one month earlier than they should be.


Last year, these flowers at this stage were just starting Feb 28th... today is February 2... probably not a good sign for our water supply since our rainy season is July to June and it really only rains from November to February.


They are already talking water rationing for the North Bay where they grow the grapes for our awesome California wine. What I don't understand is why they haven't been calling for conservation for the last two years while the writing was on the wall that we will be hitting a water crisis.


And I really don't understand why they are calling for water rationing in the area of my region where the population is the least. Perhaps I understand all too well. The politicians - or whoever is calling for this - are wusses who are afraid of the backlash of the residents who would complain, and figure they'll get less protests from an area with less residents.


You know, if the general public were not spoiled with being allowed to build monster homes on a postage stamp lot and allowed to have lush lawns instead of drought-tolerant plants, we wouldn't even be having this crisis. What is worse, there are HOAs that force residents to have this "American Dream" look and keep their lawns and keep them green. ARGH!

And don't let me get started on the lawns and pools in Phoenix and Las Vegas!

Someone stop me before I get sanctimonious, but in the meantime, I'm feeling awfully smug about our choice of landscaping that we planted 7 years ago now. Na-na-na-na-naaa... we won't be spending a fortune saving a stupid design :p I'm also glad my parents were never fond of grass... mom's allergic and dad never wanted to mow, fertilize, and all the other garbage you have to do to keep it nice looking.

Before - take note of the parking strip. This is 2 years after my parents bought the house. A large Ash tree in the middle of the lawn had to be removed since it was diseased.


Last winter after we painted the house, but note the landscape at its least lush, still interesting. We get compliments year-round. But to improve it more, we plan to make swaths of rock mixed with swaths of tanbark - some wavy pattern.

Last summer's parking strip... completely filled in and exactly as I dreamed when I designed it. After two years it was pretty well filled in except for around the tree roots. That's wooly thyme in bloom (excellent lawn replacement) with Day Lilies and scattered seapinks.


Lynne said...

Will you come and help me design the yard area when we build at Hasty? It's a long way off but I don't have a very creative eye for design.

Thanks for he spring update. It's NINE DEGREES ABOVE ZERO here in the Minnesota acrtic....

Wren said...

My brother lives in one of those communities that insists on grass lawns, just outside of LA. Don't get me started on that. Mr Wren still remembers our trip to Tucson a few years ago when I got quite vocal in expressing my opinion of golf courses, tudor architecture, and boxwoods in the desert.

I *love* your landscaping. It's beautiful, practical, and good for the environment, all in one.

RuthieJ said...

I LOVE your yard too. What a great example of the use of native plants that don't need a lot of water to survive. Besides that, it's beautiful!
Way to go Carlsons!

Red said...

Aw Lynne, I'm sorry it's still ridiculously cold for you! Spring's on its way... Punxsutawney Phil said so :) As for coming to Hasty Brook... you betcha! I think RuthieJ should come for her expert native planting advice and Mary should come because she obviously has a wonderful eye for design too... her yard is beautiful and functional.

Thanks Wren :) Obviously we think alike... every single time I go to Phoenix I don't shut up and think of starting an anti-lawn society ;)

Thanks RuthieJ! Yep, the vast majority are native to California... some just native to the Pacific NW, and I'll admit, a few non-natives, but drought tolerant ones. I'll have to post another picture of the full landscape mid-spring. It's not lush yet :) I'll wait for the miscanthus to turn green. It's not a nuisance in the west and the varieties I chose were labeled as sterile.

Mary C said...

Omigosh! I can't believe that photo of that skinny little crepe myrtle! LOL! Where does the time go? Great job, Red, of putting together the "before" and "after" shots. What a difference a few years make.

Red said...

I know! It really grew is just a few short years :)


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