Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trying to Grow Something in a Desert

Last night was the first time we were able to draw on the new chalk wall!

In May we began our effort to grow ourselves a little green in the Nevada Desert. We didn't want the entire yard to be lawn, just a small portion, the rest was planned to be low water perrenials and shrubs.

Today we have a lawn, but it has more than its fair share of weeds. I really love how the flagstone pathway turned out, we planted an Irish moss between the stones. They have grown quite a bit, but still do not cover the entire ground. There are little white flowers on the moss clumps that open in the day and close at night. Last week we placed solar lights along the path and in the flower bed area, it looks so neat when lit up! Initially I wanted to plant only perennials, but when Home Depot had a sale on 6-pack annuals for $.99 I planted several. The Petunias have definitly done well. They started out at three inches high and now have a two foot diameter! I will be planting Petunias again next year for sure. The rocks in the front are all recovered from digging in our yard, we have very very rocky soil. Oh, and notice the missing eyesore? We removed the awful swamp cooler and now have central a/c. Highly recommended...

And in the backyard we decided to do sod last month, the seeds failed to emerge. I love it, and it has no weeds! (Yet)

It's been tough. It cost a pretty penny, and I lost a lot of it. We decided to start our lawn from seed, in the desert. I've done it in the past, but on a much smaller plot. This time it didn't take off as quickly, or as neatly. We got a lot of weeds. And with being unable to walk on the little seedlings for so long, the weeds are well rooted, nearly taken over. I hope it doesn't look like this next year!
We purchased many flowers, shrubs and bulbs. We planted a raised garden in the backyard, and also tried to start a lawn back there from seed. We bought our house nearly a year ago, and both front and back yards were nothing but dirt. A month after we bought the home we planted a small Maple tree in the front yard. I also planted some bulbs that fall. Eighteen bulbs total, two came up. I have never had such a poor turn around! I think this yard was dirt for so long its forgotten how to grow.
We also started a compost bin, so I plan on turning it into the soil this fall. This season was strange, it snowed in June and I lost most of my seedlings in the raised garden, the rest of the plants were destroyed by aphids. Oh the frustration! Nearly two weeks after snowing, we were in the upper nineties, my poor plants were shocked to say the least. Many have recovered, but some are just lost. Gardens are a labor of time and love, we have invested both, so while it may not be anything to swoon over at this point, its up off the ground and its way better than dirt!-XO

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