So, in positive news I’ve figured out how to run the in-ground sprinklers manually. Last spring, half of the front sprinklers stopped working on the timer, but I didn’t realize it because we hadn’t needed to run them all winter. I just thought there weren’t enough sprinklers. So for most of last summer the front yard looked like this:
It’s still early in the season, but currently the yard looks like this:
And I have some hope that it will continue to look like that, as long as I keep running the sprinklers each week.
The lavender plants (on the left of the picture) are getting a bit out of control though. So it finally occurred to me that I should check and see how one is supposed to prune lavender. It turns out that it’s supposed to be cut back by a third each year to keep it from getting too “woody”. Uh-oh… I haven’t been pruning it at all, and from the back it looks like this:
I have no idea why it’s been growing like that, presumably because they get morning and afternoon sun, but are in the shade in the middle of the day? But there sure is a lot of woody stuff in there. After some indecision, I decided to cut it back by a third using hedge trimmers, not worrying too much about cutting each stalk separately and avoiding the woody parts. If they start to look bad I’ll just start over with new plants since it only took two years (without any special treatment) for them to look like this.
The alyssum on the other hand is looking great:
in fact, the flower box that I transplanted it from is even growing some more of it. I guess I missed some of the roots:
Ignore the fact that the flower box is pretty much a mess otherwise. The other flower box is a little better, but kinda gets blocked by the bushes:
I think maybe the two bushes on the right are gardenias? I should really get an expert in to look at all of our plants some day. Ah well, here’s a close-up:
The small bush on the left is definitely a hydrangea. I know this because Dave’s mom saved it from the clearance rack at the home improvement store last year. I believe at that time it had maybe three sad-looking leaves and one bloom. Over the winter I thought it had died completely, but now look at it!
So I guess the point of this post is that I don’t actually kill all my plants, no matter how much I ignore them. Yay!
I’m contemplating trying to “naturalize” the front yard to make it less water-intensive though, so I think I’m going to have to do a lot more learning if that’s something I want to try tackling myself.