The design concept: And so, it was decided . . .

Because the front yard is mostly shady in some areas, and one of those areas contains a Carrotwood tree —which has fairly dense roots and casts a lot of shade, we would try for an alternative to the lawn that would succeed and endure in an area that would otherwise be high(er) maintenance, or conversely, simply neglected at some point in time in the future. The established lawn itself does not thrive under the tree.

Rather than try to establish some sort of alternative, drought resistant  ground cover under the Carrotwood tree (an iffy proposition and the tree itself will continue to require water and compete with ground cover in more ways than one), it is decided that there should be a way to tie the two sides together, while successfully neating up the tree side, and nodding meaningfully toward symmetry.

It was a process. In the end it was decided that pavers of a suitable color will begin from the East side bounded by the driveway, placed solidly in a herringbone pattern (or other interesting pattern) for approximately half the width of that lawn area measuring 10 by approx 12 feet.  The pavers will progressively be spaced further apart as the tree root situation and other esthetic considerations allow/dictate, but hopefully ending in a simple row pattern to be repeated on the lawn area on the opposite side of the central walkway entrance. The areas not covered with pavers are to be planted with dymondia, a drought resistant, silver-colored ground cover plant, and provided with drip irrigation.

This plan necessitates removal of the top six inches of soil, a partial bed of sand for pavers, especially on the tree side, and restoration to grade with commercial planting mix. Also a new irrigation scheme and equipment will be required.

The plan also includes replacement of most of the shrubs across the front of the building.

Some of the photos that inspired us follow:

dymondiaThis photo shows Dymondia in between the pavers. BetterHomesPavers_0001 BetterHomesPavers_0002 BetterHomesPavers_0003 BetterHomesPavers_0004 BetterHomesPavers_0005 SunsetLandscaping_pavers_0001 SunsetLandscaping_pavers_0002 SunsetLandscaping_pavers_0004 SunsetLandscaping_pavers_0005 SunsetLandscaping_pavers_0006 SunsetLandscaping_pavers_0007 SunsetLandscaping_pavers_0009 SunsetLandscaping_pavers_0008


Plants Selection: for shade and dry shade; plants for under trees, oak trees

For this post, I’m merely taking several pages out of Western Garden Book, which I’m sure you all own a copy of. We have both situations in the front yard of the GALA building. If there were demand, I’d provide links to PDFs of these pages. But many of you already have your own copy of “Western Garden Book”


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