We have been slowly but surely hacking away at the grass. Since the above picture was taken we have cleared the grass clumps up to edge of the lawn that will remain intact. There is about a third to go. Once all the grass is out, we will have to tackle the irrigation system, level everything, lay down landscaping cloth, and then move the raised beds. Still so much to do! I was trying to get all the grass removed before the arrival of our two storm systems, but didn’t make it. So now we will have to wait for the grass to dry a bit again. I am hoping to get my first summer planting done in March, so we have to move quickly. Continue reading
This is a photograph of my great, great-grandmother when she was 18 years old. It was taken in 1884, one hundred and thirty years ago. So, I obviously can’t claim credit for it. I am just its keeper. My daughter’s name comes from this woman who I only know from this photograph.
I have a book full of these sorts of sepia toned, and then black and white, photos of my family. My grandmother, my mom’s mother, left them to me. Continue reading
It is raining right now as I write. I laugh. The earth in these parts is parched. This is good. But, I laugh because I just finished doing the first turning up of the lawn that I am removing. The idea was to dig it up and then let it sit for a few days to dry. Yes, dry. It has been nothing but dry the last several months. I am not complaining. We need a lot more of this. Rain.
I have always secretly, or not so secretly, wanted to do away with the lawn in our backyard. This is not to say I have not enjoyed it over the years. It has served as a good picnic location, a runway for leaping over sprinklers, and as a soft place to land while practicing cartwheels. But, alas, it is so hard to justify in Southern California’s semi-arid climate. Now, with the a severe drought looming, it seems almost absurd.
In the fall we had this crazy early cold snap and I ran out to make sure the kids had hats to keep their little heads warm. They have had no reason to put them on since then. As most have you have probably heard, it has been anything but cold here in California. Our warm winter, while nice in some ways, may prove to be disastrous come this summer. The garden, in this unrelenting warm, dry winter, is acting as though it were late spring.
In my backyard garden I put up small fences around many of the garden boxes to keep out the feral cats and the raccoons. Inadvertently, they are now (more or less) keeping out a third destroyer of vegetable garden delights – my almost three-year-old. His motivations are heartwarming. He is not digging for grubs, tearing out anything in his way. He is not looking for a good bathroom. He is actually looking for a tasty snack.