Hillside Collection

22 posts in this topic

I will start with the stark view Sept 22, 2017. 

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It was a psychological boost to begin making paths and even planting by early October as a diversion from the challenges of daily living. I could not even reach the flatter, formerly shady areas I had been working on clearing prior to the storms.

I admired the citrus tree which quickly grew new leaves and used it as a starting point.

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You can see that the path edges were whatever I could find from banana stems to bamboo and my favorite which was downed tree ferns. This area is so steep that I needed to create a switchback pattern, a shovel full of mud at a time, hanging on the tree ferns in my rubber boots.

No phone, no internet, no electricity, no generator, no water, but I could start a hillside garden!

Now with return of utilities I am enjoying a battle with the aggressive "Devil's Ivy" which is trying to take advantage of all horizontal and vertical surfaces. I pull it out by hand and am selecting for ferns and other more attractive plants while planting my favorites.

I later started using stakes to help secure the edging material discarding the quickly rotting banana stems. This was a first attempt. Anything helps to prevent the edging from rolling down on top of my plants below!

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Piling excavated dirt seems to be working along with continued walking and widening of the maze of paths.

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Here is the area I began to clear today to give you an idea of the recovery!

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Now I will post some views of the paths and you can see a hint of the many different kinds of plants intermixed among the palms. The first two include the citrus tree with my first attempts.

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I carve out steps in the clay and am considering some concrete blocks later.

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The hose in this photo was put to use once when it did not rain for 3 days and I had planted many items. Typically I do not water plants once they are in the ground here, even in the dry season (now).

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Cindy,

thank you for posting those beautiful photos - all the best with the work! Looks like a lot of work ahead, but starting from 

the scratch opens sometimes new views and options!

Btw.: I love those ferns, just purchased two by myself four days ago. ;) 

 

Best regards -

Lars

 

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How did the palm munching cows of your neighbor make out in the storm? :huh:

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Way to go Cindy, your well on your way!

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Cindy,

That's nothing short of "WOW"! :o Loved seeing all your great photos. Amazing (and challenging) terrain, and I'm guessing you have no difficulties deciding what to do with your free time! :mrlooney:

Bo-Göran

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awesome Cindy!!

keep up the great work!!!

looking forward to more wonderful pictures 9of your project

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Wow! What a rewarding project. I look forward to seeing photos as this garden matures. 

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SO MUCH WORK! What a stunning jungle you have. I love the look of the tree ferns!

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10 hours ago, palmfriend said:

Cindy,

thank you for posting those beautiful photos - all the best with the work! Looks like a lot of work ahead, but starting from 

the scratch opens sometimes new views and options!

Btw.: I love those ferns, just purchased two by myself four days ago. ;) 

 

Best regards -

Lars

 

Thank you Lars. I agree that hurricane Maria opened up the possibility of semi taming this area. I know you will love your ferns as I love mine! I smile now as I am beginning to pick up fallen fern fronds once again as they naturally shed them. Happily not so heavy as to do much damage below.

10 hours ago, Moose said:

How did the palm munching cows of your neighbor make out in the storm? :huh:

Moose, these photos show my new farm where I have been since last March. I am told by a former neighbor that the cows were moved to a more distant pasture and have not accessed the old place.

I am very happy to have no cows anywhere close to my current location!!!

9 hours ago, Jeff Searle said:

Way to go Cindy, your well on your way!

Thanks Jeff! I have big flat areas that I can finally easily reach with my riding lawn mower and I still haven't seen my creek since Maria, so won't be bored anytime soon. Someone with a chainsaw may make it possible tomorrow.

Bo, Josh, Josue and Missi I also appreciate all your kind and supportive comments. Your thoughtfulness matters!

Back to work (play) now....

 

 

 

 

 

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Great Job! What an amazing collection and amazing recovery! Keep up the good work!

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Your drive and ambition is incredible!

Looking forward to all the updates on this project.

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Amazing transformation, Cindy! You are an inspiration for turning total devastation back into a tropical paradise (Mother Nature, you helped, too). And those Cham tuercks are stunning.

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OMG! Lotta work! I am presently clearling an area in o'hia forest that I planted 2 1/2 years ago, recently I couldn't even see the palms in a mass of Boston ferns, resurgent strawberry guava sprouts, clidemia bushes, and bamboo orchid clusters. The latter are the hardest to remove, and the clidemia aren't easy either. So, I can imagine the work involved. But your forest area will eventually be wonderful with the fern canopy protecting the shade lovers. Good luck.

 

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We occasionally lose power for a couple weeks after hurricanes; but I can't imagine what you've been through. At least you don't have idle hands. Stay strong. -Peter

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6 hours ago, PalmatierMeg said:

Amazing transformation, Cindy! You are an inspiration for turning total devastation back into a tropical paradise (Mother Nature, you helped, too). And those Cham tuercks are stunning.

Hi Meg! You had your own challenges from Irma too!

As to the Cham tuerks, they had done so well for me in PR with every leaf perfect until after Maria. Then with too much sun and too little rain the leaves got bleached and even some burnt edges and spider mites! Like all my Chamaedoreas I can see the new leaves recovering and maybe eventually they will be pretty again. Perhaps my distant photos glossed over their imperfections....

Thanks to everyone for your posts. Almost like hosting a garden tour!

4 hours ago, mike in kurtistown said:

OMG! Lotta work! I am presently clearling an area in o'hia forest that I planted 2 1/2 years ago, recently I couldn't even see the palms in a mass of Boston ferns, resurgent strawberry guava sprouts, clidemia bushes, and bamboo orchid clusters. The latter are the hardest to remove, and the clidemia aren't easy either. So, I can imagine the work involved. But your forest area will eventually be wonderful with the fern canopy protecting the shade lovers. Good luck.

 

Hi Mike! I did not think of orchids as weeds, but as the saying goes, any plant in the wrong place... Good luck with your project!

I can say that the process itself is very satisfying.

Just today I realized that my sawzall with its long and well used blade (designed for wood cuts) can be further abused by cutting through the clay to make steps and vertical sides. This greatly decreases the effort and stress on my wrists and hands from using my shovel and is lots faster.

 

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Unbelievable, Cindy, all around! The resilience of the land, the amazing palms (and tree ferns!!) that have hung in there through thick and thin, the incredible work it must take in terracing (not to mention hanging on so you don’t roll down the hill! Lol!) the slope and your perseverance throughout an incredibly challenging situation are all admirable! Thank you for posting these inspiring photos! 

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Looks great Cindy...amazing re-growth as well!

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Ah, Cindy, you are an incredible workhorse! It must be very satisfying to reclaim the slope for your garden inch by inch. Though tired at the end of the day, I'm sure you go to sleep with a smile on your face and dream about your fabulous palm babies.

The recovery is nothing short of astonishing, especially considering the long period spent without electricity. I am so happy to see your recovery and progress photos. Thanks!

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OK Cindy, you're exhibiting 'Type A’ personality traits, which among your fellow palntalkers, is definitely considered good behavior. It sometimes borders on obsessive compulsive. 

That hillside is only going to be more attractive over time, especially as you tweak it along the way. Are rocks available in your landscape, big rocks?

I know over the years, I'm spending more time doing erosion control on my slopes as the frequent torrential downpours take their toll. 

Tim

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Thanks so much Daryl and Lisa and Kim and Tim!

I laughed at your 'Type A' obsessive compulsive comment Tim, and plead guilty, when it comes to tropical gardening at least. As to rocks, there are big ones near my creek but most of the ones on my hillsides are small. Still I save them when I hit them constructing paths and place them on the hillside to hold a little soil. I was used to no rocks at all unless purchased by the pound where I used to live in coastal VA.

Tree ferns are just great to hold my soil and most hung on even with the hurricanes except in areas where huge torrents of water off the street above created landslides. Nothing like that in the area I chose to attack now.

However the real race is on to get the now nearly bare often vertical dirt covered with plants of my choice, before May when the rainy season hits here.  Plus sadly the potential for another hurricane, dare I say it.

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