Home > Out with the grass -> in with the Native Plants and Produce

Out with the grass -> in with the Native Plants and Produce

April 25th, 2012 at 03:49 pm

Was it doldrums? A desire for nicer curb appeal? Why are we taking out the perfectly good grass in the front yard? It's a small area (probably two pieces about 10' x 20' each split by a concrete driveway). But in decent condition and comparable to the others in the neighborhood.

Not that we have a set plan or schedule for equipping the house with environmental features, but my husband and I seem to tend toward it. Ticking off the list already:

o Last year the solar panels went onto the roof
o Long term yard waste and worm bin composters
o Backyard and green house food producing
o Under sink on demand hot water (electric)
o Ultra low flow toilets
o a couple rain barrels at the gutters
o backyard full of native plant species

The tipping point was that drainage from the back to front of the lot is getting worse and big pools formed when it rains in the walkways. A little digging and installing a rock swale in both flow paths would send water along better.

So out with the grass and in with the swales. We already have big river rocks (from the soil and yard when we moved in). Previously around a group of 4 rose bushes, they got reassigned.

Cost nothing yet. But wait! My DH really had a larger vision to naturalize the front anyway. He (rightly) wanted to use some of the space for edibles. Whatever space remained would be natives with a goal of not watering anymore.

It's taken me some years, but what used to be coastal sage brush blobs to me are now wonderfully scented sages and wildflowers that go dormant/bloom following the seasons. And I see the contribution to wildlife, not only hummingbirds and butterflies.

So I get to do the natives! The first thing I am going to put in is a Matilija Poppy, that BIG white flower with the crepe paper texture petals. It is a scraggly sort of bush, but I've always adored the flower.

Next will be a ceanothus bush (small dark green leaf and purple lilac flower), there are many types and this one is local:

I'm already patronizing the local native plant nursery, they have loads of expertise. I am thinking of some small hummingbird penstemon or butterfly flowers. That's about all the room I have.

The only other issue is that I really love having cut flowers for inside (and almost NEVER buy flowers just for that reason). So the roses get relocated and I may put in some bulbs next fall.

In progress photos to follow!

2 Responses to “Out with the grass -> in with the Native Plants and Produce”

  1. Petunia 100 Says:

    I love it, it's what I want to do too! Please do share your in progress pics. Smile

  2. PatientSaver Says:

    sounds WONDERFUL. How about before and after pix?

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