Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

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StraightForward
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Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby StraightForward » Wed Jun 13, 2018 4:05 am

My xeriscaping/native landscaping in the front yard is really starting to fill in and mature. This was first planted in spring of 2014, and I have been adding to it each year since then.

This is how it looked at this time of year in 2014:
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I absolutely love it this time of year with lots of things blooming, and thought I'd share some photos:

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I'm very proud of this, though it might not look like much to non-plant geeks: my bluebunch wheatgrass stand, which started out with just the two large plants, one of which turned out to be very prolific last fall. Bluebunch is one of the most important native grasses to the region. I'm planning to dig up lots of these seedlings in the fall and spread them to an area in the backyard that is a few years behind in the xeriscaping process.

Image

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Last edited by StraightForward on Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Chisamba
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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby Chisamba » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:08 am

Fabulous. Really well done

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby acheyarcher » Wed Jun 13, 2018 12:31 pm

i love how you broke the front with the little pathway
i bet the bees and butterflies love you

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby Sunshine2Me » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:32 pm

WOW! That's really beautiful!

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby Imperini » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:44 pm

It's gorgeous, you should be very proud of it!

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby StraightForward » Wed Jun 13, 2018 1:53 pm

acheyarcher wrote:i love how you broke the front with the little pathway
i bet the bees and butterflies love you


There is actually a culvert an sort of an existing drainage path along there, so I made it into a dry creekbed. I want to fill it in with blue stones, but haven't gotten around to it. Right now it's just road mix over weed fabric.

Yes, the pollinators love it here and I try to keep it chemical-free as much as possible for their benefit. I have early-bloomers and late bloomers, and different flower sizes for the smaller wasps. I'm slowly getting milkweed to naturalize as well.
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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby Moutaineer » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:47 pm

That's really impressive and very pretty!

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby Canyon » Wed Jun 13, 2018 2:49 pm

Wow, you've come a long way, baby! That bed looks fabulous!

I am in a similar zone to yours, so I'm curious about your plants. Could you list them when you have time - what are the purple, yellow, and white (shrubby) plants? Any of any color that you tried but did not thrive? Any in particular that you love?

I seem to also remember that you were trying raised beds in your back yard with chunks of wood in them. Update on how that is going?

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby WheresMyWhite » Wed Jun 13, 2018 3:22 pm

OP, you did a great job!! You also mastered the trick of not planting too many small plants but rather planting a few small plants and letting them grow to their natural size. :)

I lived in Colorado for a number of years and my last front yard I did the same thing... bark mulch, drip line, a few small plants and 10 years later it was a jungle (I have a few photos of the 10 years later but not sure I have any "before" photos).

I loved lavender and it self-seeded like crazy and did very well. Same with a French tarragon I had planted... whacked it back every spring and it was 3'+ by the end of the summer. I also liked my columbines (deadheaded them and saved the seeds), day lilies and sand cherries.

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby heddylamar » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:57 pm

Wow! That's matured beautifully!

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby texsuze » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:01 pm

I remember when this project began. Looks awesome! Have the neighbors 'bought in' to the native/xeriscaping style? Looks like a great demonstration garden for the unenlightened! Do you have any small, "specimen" trees or bushes planned for either front or back yard?

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby StraightForward » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:02 pm

Canyon wrote:Wow, you've come a long way, baby! That bed looks fabulous!

I am in a similar zone to yours, so I'm curious about your plants. Could you list them when you have time - what are the purple, yellow, and white (shrubby) plants? Any of any color that you tried but did not thrive? Any in particular that you love?

I seem to also remember that you were trying raised beds in your back yard with chunks of wood in them. Update on how that is going?


Sure! The orange/yellow flowers are common coreopsis, and the red/yellow are blanketflower. I don't know the strain of lavender, but it was a more cold-hardy variety I bought at Lowe's. The originals are in the back yard and about 5' across. They re-seed readily and these in the front yard are transplants.

I have about five varieties of penstemons. A couple are hybrids, so I don't know the species. They really flourish here with very little supplemental water, and have been reseeding on their own.

The Greek Yarrow is starting to fade out for the year, but makes a lovely ground cover with the flowers only getting a few inches tall. The Tiffendel gold at the edge of the grass is also a nice groundcover, but fairly slow to spread. Not pictured in the sulphur buckwheat, which is really an excellent plant that needs no supplemental water, and holds it's flower stalks all winter, so it remains ornamental after it's done flowering.

For shrubs, I have fernbush, mountain big sagebrush, yellow rabbitbrush, Apache plume, sand cherry, mountain mahogany, purple sage and desert willow. I also have two shrubs from High Country Gardens that I'm unsure of the identity of. One is in the foreground of the last photo, and blooms bright yellow in mid-late summer. The other blooms late summer and extremely attractive to bees, but a nuisance in that it reseeds to much.

For grasses, I have Stipa gigantea, blue grama "blonde ambition", Idaho fescue, basin wildrye and the bluebunch wheatgrass. I haven't had any luck establishing ricegrasses or needlegrasses from collected seed though.

This year I also added some lupine, balsamroot and winterfat.
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StraightForward
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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby StraightForward » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:06 pm

texsuze wrote:I remember when this project began. Looks awesome! Have the neighbors 'bought in' to the native/xeriscaping style? Looks like a great demonstration garden for the unenlightened! Do you have any small, "specimen" trees or bushes planned for either front or back yard?


I've only had one neighbor ask specific questions about the plants. There are a few other houses in the neighborhood with the occasional native/xeric plants, but they are more spare and not really pollinator friendly. So compliments, but no one really following suit as far as I can tell.

For specimen trees, the desert willow and mountain mahogany would probably qualify.

There are three mock oranges in the backyard, and then an Enigma climbing rose that is visible over the fence as it's about 15' tall
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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby Amado » Wed Jun 13, 2018 8:29 pm

Omg, that’s fantastic!!

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby KathyK » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:48 am

Wonderful!

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby WheresMyWhite » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:05 pm

If you want to play a bit more, try planting sedums. I had really good success with mine on a north facing front yard at about 6000' :)

Surprisingly winter hardy.

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:08 pm

What a gorgeous design! Thanks for sharing the early and mature photos.

I use sedums a lot here in wet east TN. They do really well in our chert-y (rocky) dry slopes and are tolerant of Tennessee deluges!

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby StraightForward » Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:56 pm

Oh yes I have several sedums and hens and chicks too. The sedums are really nice when they bloom in the fall.
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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:31 am

Wow, our sedums bloom in spring/summer. Different strokes (climates)....
I hope your neighborhood takes note of your lovely yard and follows suit!

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby Canyon » Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:20 pm

StraightForward - Thanks so much for your plant list and info!

"One is in the foreground of the last photo, and blooms bright yellow in mid-late summer." Might be some type of rabbit brush?

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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby StraightForward » Sun Jun 17, 2018 4:30 am

Canyon wrote:StraightForward - Thanks so much for your plant list and info!

"One is in the foreground of the last photo, and blooms bright yellow in mid-late summer." Might be some type of rabbit brush?


No, it was sold as sulphur buckwheat, but it's not the same as the sulphur buckwheat that grows here (I have a few specimens of those; they are a fully herbaceous, non-branching plant). The leaves do look like it might be some sort of buckwheat sub-shrub, but it's nothing I've ever seen anywhere else. I know the seedlings do not appreciate being transplanted. I've only gotten one to transplant successfully after several tries.
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Re: Xeriscape update for anyone who remembers when it started...

Postby redsoxluvr » Sun Jun 17, 2018 7:49 pm

I don't know anything about plants, but thank you for not trimming your bushes into unnatural shapes! It looks very peaceful and natural.


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