Friday, January 26, 2007

Where the Back Yard Meets the Canyon

Hidden at the very back of the back yard, unseen from the house and most of the yard, is the remnant of an old pig sty – seen in the left rear of this picture. The giant bamboo I planted years ago (in the right rear corner of picture), is now visible from the yard, peeking over the small rock mountain behind the spa. Over the years, I’ve moved rocks, stumps, and recycled old wooden decking to make some crude steps up the rocks to the right.

One autumn, I dumped a trash-can load of good mulch here – in the spot between foreground to the sunny flat rock in the rear. Then I transplanted succulents who had outgrown their 2 inch pots. No artificial irrigation other than the careless spill from operating the nearby faucet and hose. Our climate – and this location in particular - favors such plump thrifty succulents who can hold water better than a fat girl in a prom dress.

Their south-facing location gets cooked to a crisp in the dry summer, so this is the best season for the succulents living there. The red spikes of the small pencil plant, silhouetted against the white rock in the middle left, have doubled in size. The jade in the foreground doesn’t care if anybody catches its show.

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