Adventures in Landscaping – Major Projects Going on at home

Well….spring is coming and I have been working hard getting ready for the change in seasons and plants coming to life. Every weekend and free time I have been working on some project or the other.

Backyard landscaping (even with a “city lot”) is a lot of work. Be bought our first house in October of last year and the front and back yard were barren with no vegetation. If you don’t get some groundcover and plants that you like, weeds and other unwanted plants will readily pop up out of the ground. Who wants to spend their weekends pulling weeds??

View of our house in the backyard

Front yard – So, my mission started last fall to beautify our front and back yard. I laid out landscaping fabric on the front yard and put crushed rock on top (blocks weeds). Planted some trees…started a flower garden in the front, Setup drip irrigation and soaker hoses on a timer to water everything …and “voila”; Phase one of Emergency landscaping completed. Whew. That was a lot easier to type than do.

So…with that out of the way…onwards…and upwards. The back yard. What to do?? I speant forever tyring to come up with a design and in the end I just went with “going with the flow” and creating as I go.

Fountain – My first project was a stone waterfall fountain. Dug a trench to run conduit pipe for electrical and water. Then dug a ditch, laid down thick plastic for the fountain and then drove up to Taos and picked out some beautiful Red stone to use for the fountain. It was fun creating the fountain. I finished this..and then found some design flaws and leaking and had to start over from scratch. I had to take a break to muster up the courage to do it again. I finshed that…and it has been running nicely….but still some kinks to work out. Such is life as a do-it-yourself landscaper!

Trees – Well…with that out of the way…I went to the river with Narayan and found some nice Cottonwood trees and spent the day digging up trees. Brought them home and planted them in the yard.

Vegetable Garden – We love fresh vegetables and the fun of going out back and picking stuff that you grow. Nowadays stuff in the supermarket come from God knows where and with who knows what chemicals. Not fresh like the days in Punjab when it comes fresh from the field. We planted 3 long rows or veggies a week or so ago. Now all we do is water and wait, till life shows itself!

Flower Beds – One of the conditions that I had for landscaping was that it had to be really easy to maintain and use minimal water (we are in the high desert). We found a place that sells Xeriscape (waterwise) plants that do well in our climate. This last weekend I was making the beds and planting them in the ground.

Grass – If you don’t have some type of ground cover, nature will provide its own (aka: weeds) so I had to figure out something. Our area has a lot of water restrictions so we don’t want to waste water. Most grass needs loads of water. I did some research and found a solution. Buffalo and Blue Grama grass. Hardly needs any water and best of all hardly needs to be mowed. This is another thing I don’t want to spend my weekends doing. So…I ordered some seeed… rented a rototiller and tilled up the dirt. Ready to go! Wait..Almost. Darn. I Have to wait till later spring to plant this “warm season” grass.

So…much of it is in progress but it’s all starting to take shape which is exciting! I can’t wait to enjoy the summer afternoons lounging on the grass by the fountain and feeling the breeze blow softly on my face, while looking up at the beautiful New Mexico sky!

Below are some pictures of our house and back yard. Might not look like much yet…but wait till late summer and you’ll see things coming to life!