- Author: Alison Collin
During last decade's drought I watched our once green lawn deteriorate into strips of yellowish grass much interspersed with dandelions, infested with Bermuda grass and with occasional eruptions of lantern stinkhorns and morels. It was a depressing sight, and certainly not worthy of a Master Gardener!
For years I had wanted to rip out the lawn which had subterranean irrigation provided by drip tubing buried 4” deep at 16” intervals. With reduced irrigation there was no lateral spread of water so that grass was now only growing along the tubing lines. I had no idea of what to do instead. I certainly did not want a front yard of bare dusty soil with one or two chunks of rock. a couple of cacti and a few native plants since I see those all the time in the local desert. However, the replacement plants must have low irrigation needs, flower over a long season, must attract pollinators of all sorts, and not be invasive.
Then I came across a TV series presented by Monty Don, called “Big Dreams, Small Spaces.” In each episode he would visit a couple of gardens and advise the homeowners on how to tackle remodeling their gardens. He would then return throughout the year to monitor progress. I was hooked! I watched the whole series through twice and learned a lot. Suddenly I knew exactly what I wanted to do and was confident that I could it.
I would install a large path around the raised bed, with four paths radiating from it. Another path would be installed from the front door to the side gate of the house. This would give me four roughly equal plots for flowers.
My husband had no problems understanding what I wanted and after a lot of measuring and adjustments drew up scale plans.
It was now up to me to create my “Big Dream”.
Part 2 will cover the irrigation and planting. Be sure to check back soon!