Friday, July 18, 2008

Big Mess...Small Project...and a New Fruit

The door to the left of the LPG tank is the kitchen door and it opens to this side yard which is a big mess. It is a pretty little spot, but the hill was cut to put the house in and the slope is big and covered with grass currently and little "bad" trees. When we first got here it was all trees and I have made some headway by climbing like a goat and taking out grass and seedlings and loping off 1/2 inch trees. But still it is in need of something.

We can mow up to a point. Jeff can weed whack down to a point from up top but that leaves a large area to figure something out about. My latest thought is to tidy up the bottom, let the top be wild and slowly replace tall green grass with ornamental grasses to stabilize and prettify the slope. It is a daunting task so we are doing what we can. I originally moved the red pots from elsewhere and located them on the slope. This has let soil pool up behind them, and one pot had its ground cover sneak out (what I intended) and you can't see the pot anymore!

I moved plants from elsewhere (plant musical chairs) and Amparo gave me 3 little orange flower starts which have now taken over. Exactly what I'll go with - the thing that works! The tree to the left is a Tamarind tree which has really neat bark, a nice leaf and the paste from the pods makes a good juice. The tree to the right is yet another avocado that is too young to bear fruit.

Here are some Tamarind blooms. They are like little orchids! Very delicate and first noticed when I heard the buzzing of bees.

So here is the plan (any ideas welcome): I have laid out landscape blocks in a slow, easy to mow along curve following the hill contour. I have weeded. We will build a little wall (walls are fun) about 2-3 blocks tall to help hold back tumbling soil when the rain makes it a water feature. I'll keep little pots for herbs and some veggies (out of the way of chickens and cats). At the base of the hill behind the Carambola, Tamarind, Avocado, orchid and Corazone trees I'll plant a line of ornamental grass. In front of that under the trees...gingers and flowers. Then I'll progress in tiers up the hill and see how far I can get! I'll alternate between pretty grass and flowers. I don't think I can fight grass unless I fight it with grass. The top may just stay kind of irritating and wild. Even now though with the dry layout it looks soooo much better!

We went to Enaidas to pick up a lime tree. We picked out a Tahiti Lime (the limes turn yellow when ripe - typical Puerto Rico) and a couple avocados (we already have 6 trees but 2 are very old) and a peanut butter tree. We always look in the fruit bins for fruit to try and Jeff found his new favorite - Mamey Sapote. It has the texture of a Canisteel (which I love) but is very very sweet. I don't like it but Jeff does. They didn't have the plant though so we will have to try Montoso or somewhere else! This is a large, 5 pound fruit! So it'll be nice to clean up this area. Probably in a month it will be tidied up!

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