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Monday, September 19, 2016

My Landscaping Man

Doug has this wonderful design gene. I have no idea where it comes from although he has mentioned that in another life, he would've loved to have been a golf course architect. He has a truly uncanny ability to look at something and re-design it in his head and then make it happen. He did this with the interior of our home, which is spectacular in my humble opinion and now he's at it with the outside of our home.
Photo not taken today. It's not that cloudy!
Our current property is blessed with lovely yard space. Because we sit at the end of a cul-de-sac, our property is pie-shaped which is awesome because the front side is nicely shaped without being a huge space, but the back opens into a lovely wide expanse. The patio is really great and once the weather cools will become a major outdoor living area. After 17 years in Sweden where we lived for the warmish days of summer when we could be outside, it is still a little weird for me to be longing for cooler days in order to be outside more! But I digress. The back yard also has 5 mature fruit trees, 3 pink grapefruit and a lemon and a lime tree. Unfortunately, one of the grapefruit trees died so we had to hack it down.
All of the trees are surrounded by brick and concrete which is fine until you want to remove it. Doug has done the back breaking work of digging out the square that surrounded the dead tree.
It has been fun to watch this transformation take shape today.
The front yard has a lovely sitting area but it was largely blocked by this giant yucca tree. And the pile of rocks and cacti behind the sitting area were not set out in a very appealing manner.
The new view, sans Yucca
Additionally, the big rock pile by the front door was also a little random and the plants around the house were also just sort of scattered about.
Re-located cacti and rocks creating a much more beautiful desert garden
Doug had the great idea of building a dry rock "creek" from the beside the front door that will go all the way down to the end of the driveway. We do have the most beautiful stones so it will be a great way to display them more tastefully.
The start of the dry rock creek
The front of the house looks so much better. 
So the major work in the front yard, included re-locating the large yucca plant that blocked our view, knocking down the stone piles, re-locating various cacti and large rocks, and moving one small palm back against the house.
So you may be asking, "Where is that large Yucca plant?" It's in the corner of our backyard! And it looks great.
Before
 After
The Yucca tree fills in that space beautifully. It looks so much better.

In addition to moving the large yucca tree to the back corner, backyard work included re-locating all of the rose bushes so that they are alongside of the house. 

Hauling away large portions of the concrete that Doug dug out. Horrible work, really. And transplanting formerly potted cacti into the ground to round out the desert garden.
 I am amazed at how much work they've gotten done. Fortunately, it's not too hot today (91F/33C) and there has been cloud cover so they haven't totally wilted. I've been documenting their work, providing beverages and lunch, along with some translation skills as Martin's English isn't totally up to speed. My Spanish stinks but I can still understand what he needs most of the time.
Doug is an eager learner and a great worker when he gets a bee in his bonnet. Most of the time it works to my advantage, but sometimes it drives me absolutely crazy. The phrase that I often fear most is, "Jodi, I have an idea." That man is full of ideas, albeit, mostly great ones. Best of all we haven't had to spend money on new materials yet. We will buy some new plants but mostly we've been able to move the rocks around the garden and transplant the plants in spaces that look so much better. I'm totally thrilled with how this is shaping up. Of course, we miss this little lawn ornament most of all. Sigh. Stay tuned for more developments from my landscaping man.