A Good Front

After a year in Reno, we felt it was about time we made our house our own.

The day we were moving in — moving truck in the driveway, boxes strewn everywhere — our new neighbor came over insisting that he show me how to turn on our lawn sprinkler. He screwed it up royally and we experienced a river running down the east side of our property. My turn to insist: TURN EVERYTHING OFF.

About a week later, our mailbox key was ready and the first letter we received at our new address was a letter from Sierra Canyon Association saying that our lawn was all brown and we have 30 days to tell them what we’re going to do about it. The letter was about six weeks old.

The next week, I paid a guy from the next village $25 bucks to properly turn on our sprinkler system. Hey, we lived in a San Francisco flat with no grass the previous 20 years, do we really need grass in the desert? But we vowed to live here a year and experience our new house before ripping anything out.

Our sprinklers at work on Sunday morning.

About 10 months later, a LivingSocial Deal offered $1000 worth of landscape work for $250. Carol was on that like white on rice. We really didn’t renege on our vow, because the work didn’t get started until late June.

This is what we did…

The front yard landscape plan.

Out with the grass. On my morning walks, I have admired and photographed many xeriscaped front yards. As it turns out, the yard directly across the street from us is one we like a lot. When we talked to Frank, our landscape guy, we went and looked at that.

our front lawn
Our front xeriscape. The plants will grow and cover that area.

The yard is basically a triangle in front. Since we’re on a cul-de-sac, our driveway takes up most of our front property line.

“Rip it out, Bob.”
The sod is piled to take away and the ground is prepped for plants.
Place the plants.
Mugo Pine
This pile of Decomposed Granite will cover the bare earth.

Running back along the east side of our house from the front to the back yard, is a bit of a wasteland.

Our east side “yard” before.

There were a few plants and trees in there, but they were lost in the wastelandness of exposed drip-hose and old and tired “decomposed granite.” Our brilliant landscape guys made that into what they called *the River.* And it will actually function for drainage when we get our periodic rainstorms.

Our river gets started.
The River

The not so brilliant landscape guys present when the house was built made a large planter for roses under our only outdoor covered area. First on our list when we ever discussed landscaping was paving over that sumbitch and putting a bench there where I can watch rainstorms and take naps, nicely covered and shaded.

What a swell place for a planter.
Brian and Natasza steal rose plants in March.
Planter removed…
Prepared for paving…

Ready for sitting.

I hear thunder in the distance right now. Maybe I’ll get to sit and watch a storm.