February 28 , 2010


This winter it has been rain, rain and more rain- with our little valley getting over 18" so far this season- more than 5" above normal! This has caused many delays in our work schedule, but it has also certainly been a blessing for California's water shortage and a boon to the weeds. Petra has already started applying Round-up, but it will take a few weekends to finish the job.

We've repaired and barb-wired the fence along the front and Petra has added a ton of plants to the parkway landscaping. She estimates that there are now close to 100 specimens along the 500' strip, but that may be hard to appreciate through all the weeds, This is going to be a really impressive, car-stopping sight once it gets established and fills out!

The rain has caused significant erosion all over the property. Fortunately, we've been able to channel it onto the access roads along both sides and mostly away from the pads on which the structures rest. The greenhouse has remained high and dry. The erosion is hard to capture on film, but this view at the bottom of the south track should give you some idea.

Petra has pretty much finished this group planting of winter-growers along the south fence. The sculptural rocks are booty from a weekend field trip to the Mojave last December. Some of them weigh over 300 lbs! The yellowish top dressing, which we have dubbed "Temecula tan," is a nice DG that came from run-off alluvium along the roads near our property. Another gift from the rain gods!`

This is the other slightly-more-established planting of Winter growers on the south side of the entranceway. The tylecodens and aeonium especially are really pumped from the recent rains.

Petra fondles one of her favorite specimen aloes, which also luxuriated from the rain. The cycads on the patio are there in preparation for planting on the slope in the foreground.

A week later and the cycad planting in front of the patio is in.

The doors on the north end of the greenhouse are finally installed. Like the windows on both sides and the vent at top, they are screened as well as Lexaned (all of the grayer looking panels) so that the Lexan can be removed for summer ventilation. The south doors come next.

Plans are already afoot to develop the 1/3 acre parcel in back of the duplex. We are planning another greenhouse for seedling plants roughly 24' x 80', as well as a small house trailer under the oak trees. The north boundary of this parcel was wide open and needed to be secured. This is the new 6' fence along that boundary.

This is the gate at the west end of the new fence, abutting the duplex. The big section to the right of the open gate is also on hinges and can be opened to permit vehiclar access (think trailer).