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Archive for May, 2009

Spring at Vassar Dr.

I think Mel and I are finally seeing the benefits of our 2 years’ worth of back-breaking, Texas sweatin’, green thumbing in the backyard! This year, native plants have seemed to silently agree that they like it. Let’s hope they stay alive during the upcoming Austin summer months….luckily, we have a rain barrel at the ready to collect any precipitation and/or grey water we can provide. Every little bit of water conservation helps during the hot, dry summers. Here are some pics to document the progress so far:

Our man William Bozarth (of the shedio fame) constructed this new gateway to the backyard (lockable, sturdier, and downright prettier):gate

As you head toward the back, you pass my experimental native grass prairie-scape. Tiny, but I just want to see how our soil/yard could potentially be turned into full-on, Texas prairie…the way our neighborhood landscape used to look, pre-1965. First pic shows the week after I constructed it in March; the next one is last week! This week, it is even taller and more filled-in. Amazing what a little rain will do. I have native wildflowers that I hope will pop up as a nice forgotten surprise in spring, 2010! I’m not really sure what I expect from it, aesthetically, but I do know it’ll help hold in moisture better and water our slabby foundation during the hot months. Plus, native grass roots are GREAT for erosion control and need no maintenance! Go natives!
prairie 1

prairie 2

We’ve tried our hand at the easiest erosion control method on the steep-ish hill between us and our neighbor’s fence: diggin holes, planting some native plants, and covering it all in mulch! We chose spreading, hill-grabbing plants like bamboo muhly, frogfruit, and texas bettany.

slope control

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