Thursday, September 22, 2011


The trucks were here before 8am.

Mountain laurel and texas ebony and fringe flower and ocotillo.

It hurt when the ocotillo and the texas ebony became entwined.  There were many tools and few fingers involved in separating them from one another.

The big boss came out to help me place the plants.  that's him wheeling the dolly.
It wasn't long til we called the bigger boss.
She came out and told us all what to do.
I liked having her around.

Some specimens come in black plastic buckets.

The bigger ones arrive in wooden containers. 

 The metal bands are handy for toting and turning.

This mountain laurel will keep people from staring into the library as I type to you.
At least, that's the plan.
It still has some growing to do.

There were power tools.

There were hand tools.

First they cleared the area of debris and ground cover and stones.

Neatness counts.

Then the power shovel comes out 

and the hole is dug.

The tools and irrigation supplies were kept clean on a tarp.

The soil was replaced, with just a touch of compost.  Although the Master Gardeners would disagree, Rillito Nursery swears by this mild amendment.  Their theory is that the tree has been growing in beautiful amended soil for all of its life.  If you don't give the roots something to reach for they'll never leave the root ball.

They have 2 vitex planted next to one another, one in gently amended and the other in back fill soils.  The amended one looks better, though both are alive.

As Dominique Browning says in Slow Love, you're better off with a So What attitude when it comes to the garden.

Sometimes the hole required a more in-depth approach.

And sometimes it didn't.

Finding the irrigation was a challenge.

By the afternoon, it started to take shape.

The trees were properly staked, like this willow acacia.

They worked til 3 and were rewarded with cash and a Hershey bar.
I'm sitting here smiling at my new treasures.
I don't even feel bad that I couldn't help.

It was nice to watch others do the work for a change.


  1. WOW! Such a large undertaking, and with plants I've seldom seen. A power shovel? Never knew they existed and I need one!!

  2. It was the coolest thing, Judy.... light enough for (a former incarnation of) me to handle yet powerful enough to create a deep square hole. It made short work of our hard packed dirt.... uh.. soil.

  3. I've never heard of that either. The yard is going to look amazing! I cannot wait to see it all done. Please do share the complete after pictures.

    Megan xxx

  4. A power shovel?? holy cow! That doesn't say much for your soil. The Mountain Laural is our state bush. In the wild the color of the blooms are lavender. Sounds like you have some wonderful new plants. Do you miss having grass? I love willows. I hope you will share a final of the completion...debbie

  5. Beautiful! I can't wait to see all of the desert plants. They are SO different than what I am used to. I laughed when I saw the power shovel...when we moved to this house 20 years ago, our soil was so hard that we could have used one of those!xoxo

  6. I know how you've loved landscaping your home, so I'm tickled that you are as pleased to have it well done by these folks. Sounds like you had great fun. I'll look forward to seeing how your garden grows.

  7. Yes, update us later! When I lived in Seattle, if you dug down about a foot in our back yard, you hit water! Quite a switch here in the desert now!

  8. I forgot to thank you for the Tana French author tip! I was desperate for a good read to distract me from this house-buying stress and bought her first two novels at our local used-book store. Love her!

  9. I'm late to comment here (I read your posts on my phone but for some reason have never been able to comment there...) but the yard looks great! We undertook a HUGE landscape renovation early this year and I am so amazed and pleased with how well everything has taken, despite the hot temps and dry will feel the same way 6 months from now for sure! Also wanted to mention that I also love Rillito Nursery--they are so very helpful and have a great inventory. I need to head over for some starts for my winter garden soon.

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