Friday, October 21, 2011

It's More Like a Black Thumb

As last spring rolled around, we were so excited to head outside and plant some beautiful greenery for our curb appeal. After some dark mulch was added around the bright green plants and cacti, we felt like we had a welcome and maintained look for people as they walked up to our house. I went outside on countless occasions just to see how well everything turned out. It was pretty!

And then summer happened. And all but two of our gorgeous plants headed to the happy hunting grounds. We even managed to kill off a cactus. How does that even happen!

A month of record-heat temperatures, that's how.

Luckily, since it's cooling down, we decided to risk it again by planting some new things in our front patch just yesterday. And by "cooling down," I mean it was 101 degrees. We visited a local nursery and found lots of beautiful and hardy plants that could handle drought and high-heat situations. Since they face south and might not get water every day, we figured we needed all the help we could get.

The survivors were the Natal Plumb and one Barrel Cactus. They still look brand-new, though neither grew very much since being in the ground. Our big guy this time around is a Texas Sage. We filled in the other holes with a Little Johns and a Boxleaf. I refuse to pay $30 for a cactus, so I headed to Home Depot to buy a few smaller cacti to fill in the rest of the space. For about $40 total, we were able to completely redo the front walkway to our home!

I love how it looks, but I'm already scared that things will die. We have such a hard clay in this dirt, which is native to Arizona and probably contributed to the killing of our spring plants. To prevent this from happening, Hubby mixed in some dry grass clippings to keep the dirt broken up and loose. This will hopefully allow the roots to grow and spread in a healthy manner instead of being stopped by the clay. In addition, planting now will give the plants the entire winter to become hardy enough to stand up to next summer's heat. We purposely picked plants that don't have to be covered for frost, either. For those two nights a year. I love living in Arizona!

Should we call it lazy landscaping? We want maintenance-free but beautiful curb appeal. Is that too much to ask?!

While we were working outside, I cleaned all of the windows. These three receive the most brunt from summer storms, so they had lots of hard water stains and dirt ready to be removed. My mom's old trick of newspaper and vinegar worked, and then I polished with my glass cleaner and some paper towels. It looks amazing, and I love being able to see outside with having to squint through the water spots!

We sure love having this home. And we love being able to make it our own. I don't know what we'll do if these plants decide they are too good for this world. Concrete might be my next solution!

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE our boxwoods - something about them feels less like I live in a desert, and our sage wouldn't die for anything - very hearty little fella!


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