When I first planted the garden I was in love with the Indian hawthorn, Rhaphiolepis indica. It was evergreen and had these beautiful pink flowers in the spring. In the front courtyard I planted them in three places. In front of the two large windows and alongside the garage. The ones along the dining room window were the first to go, as we redid the area following a very cold winter. Then, earlier this year I removed the ones in front of the other window. Those ones had become rather thin and rangy and made cleaning the window difficult. The remaining ones, alongside the garage were removed last week. We needed to do some work along the wall and they were in the way.
Even though they were perfectly healthy I was glad to see the back of them. For one thing they had become a little intrusive requiring a cut back every year, but the worst thing was that despite being evergreen they shed some leaves and those leaves were a big chore to remove from the dry creek. In heavy rain the leaves would wash onto the drain.
It's never as bad as you think. In fact, it is exciting to be thinking about what you can do in the new area and it will match the rest of the garden a lot better.
Once those bushes were out I knew there was going to have to be some rock work. Yeah! My favorite thing to do.
But on a side note just look at that soil. I am reminded once again of the English garden designer and author Penelope Hobhouse's words as she designed and implemented a project in Dallas. She referred to "This thing you call soil" And yet it is quite amazing how many plants can survive in such 'rubble' Many of our natives are quite at home in such conditions.
I called upon David to bring me some rocks so that I could build a new edge to the creek to retain that 'soil'. He was relieved to hear that I was only looking for small ones.
I had to remove all the river rocks and dig out with the pick axe. A two day job. Then brush everything and replace the river rock. Here's the finished product.
We now have a cleaner, tidier area which I am hoping will be less maintenance.
Now for the hard part- the planting. Not hard in digging the holes but in choosing the plants. I would like something evergreen for the corner but it must be upright- possibly a grass. Not having any bright ideas about that. Along the edge I will be shopping my own garden for echinacea-always plenty of those. This is a west facing wall and the wall itself, being stucco, gets very hot. It has to be a plant that can cope with intense heat in the summer. Please feel free to offer up some ideas.
Changes to the rock path and the corner of the new area.