Jump to content
OverGrown

A blank canvas to landscape in Southern California.

Recommended Posts

Matt in OC

Great stuff in this thread. Mind if I chime in for some advice?

I want to do another full sun planter (on the right of the picture) in my front yard (we have a corner lot). As you can see, there's already a planter lining the sidewalk, but I'd like something in front of that for taller palms (different clumping Dypsises and a Teddy Bear). Maybe another Gigas?

In any case, though, I'd like to make the planter interesting. I could do an oblong "island" in the turf or maybe a dry river bed, but am having a hard time visualizing it. I'd appreciate any "artistic" suggestions you guys may have.

Kenny what's the name of the place in Whittier?

post-9980-0-31110800-1412615458_thumb.jp

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

Great stuff in this thread. Mind if I chime in for some advice?

I want to do another full sun planter (on the right of the picture) in my front yard (we have a corner lot). As you can see, there's already a planter lining the sidewalk, but I'd like something in front of that for taller palms (different clumping Dypsises and a Teddy Bear). Maybe another Gigas?

In any case, though, I'd like to make the planter interesting. I could do an oblong "island" in the turf or maybe a dry river bed, but am having a hard time visualizing it. I'd appreciate any "artistic" suggestions you guys may have.

Kenny what's the name of the place in Whittier?

There are a lot of things I have to consider on both a micro (plant characteristics) and macro (overall balance/curb appeal) level when planting. It is difficult to suggest anything w/o seeing the overall landscape shot of your house. I'd suggest standing across your street at multiple angles and imagining what particular plant interests you and imagine how it would fit in the grand scheme of things.

Edited by OverGrown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

Quick update:

I have since removed about 75 yrds of dirt not including this pile. Rented a Terex PT-30 and spent about 44hrs removing and grading clay soil. Currently disputing about $750 worth of bogus charges the waste company took the liberty of adding to the bill before I remove the rest.

photo-34.jpg

The solid green line gives me an idea of my setback.

photo-32.jpg

Backyard has been lowered by about 8inches from its lowest point in some areas and about 18" in some of the higher areas. Mound of brush/roots has since been reduced to ash. Chickens are doing their work taking out insects and reintroducing organics into the dirt. I am currently thinning the hedge in some areas and giving it time to recover since many roots were severed during soil removal.

photo-35.jpg

Edited by OverGrown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hammer

Ha!!! Love the chickens! I'm thinking of getting some. Any concerns with predatory birds?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

Ha!!! Love the chickens! I'm thinking of getting some. Any concerns with predatory birds?

They are vulnerable when smaller...A small red tailed hawk swooped on one but couldn't lift off..it's talons killed it. Also had 4 smaller ones taken out by either an owl or cat during the night...Once they grew beyond a certain size the hawks have left them alone, although I can't say whether its the size of the bird or size of the flock that deters them.. I originally had 46 of them.. I think i'm down to 40 or 41... haha

Edited by OverGrown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sabal Steve

Quick update:

I have since removed about 75 yrds of dirt not including this pile. Rented a Terex PT-30 and spent about 44hrs removing and grading clay soil. Currently disputing about $750 worth of bogus charges the waste company took the liberty of adding to the bill before I remove the rest.

photo-34.jpg

The solid green line gives me an idea of my setback.

photo-32.jpg

Backyard has been lowered by about 8inches from its lowest point in some areas and about 18" in some of the higher areas. Mound of brush/roots has since been reduced to ash. Chickens are doing their work taking out insects and reintroducing organics into the dirt. I am currently thinning the hedge in some areas and giving it time to recover since many roots were severed during soil removal.

photo-35.jpg

Are you not allowed to plant in your setback? I completed (survived) a building project within the setback. Luckily, I was able to remodel an existing structure that was on the property line. The building inspector was a real bear, who gave me a real tough time, but he never said anything about the Bizzie next to the structure. Or the one in the easement between the sidewalk or the road.

Beware, some municipalities may require a grading permit for even minor landscaping. In San Diego, one of the triggers is if you would re-route drainage patterns, or if you have a hole that is more than 5' deep.

Edited by Sabal Steve

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sabal Steve

My favorite one is point number 7 "For restoring damage caused by illegal grading".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

Are you not allowed to plant in your setback? I completed (survived) a building project within the setback. Luckily, I was able to remodel an existing structure that was on the property line. The building inspector was a real bear, who gave me a real tough time, but he never said anything about the Bizzie next to the structure. Or the one in the easement between the sidewalk or the road.

Beware, some municipalities may require a grading permit for even minor landscaping. In San Diego, one of the triggers is if you would re-route drainage patterns, or if you have a hole that is more than 5' deep.

It is a self-imposed 7' setback (planting area, if you will) where I WILL be planting. I have found that building a garden wall or fence right up next to a sidewalk looks terrible. The only building code required setbacks are for structures to be 3ft away from the property line. Even in my backyard I'm giving myself at a 5ft one for any intended structures. As far as grading goes.. I have not "technically" changed the grade.. I have removed dirt.

Edited by OverGrown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DoomsDave

Ah, chickens!

So fun, so NOISY.

Wabbits are nice and quiet, like knives . . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pando

Nice project. If I can suggest anything - if you had any crabgrass in the lawn earlier, get rid of ANY soil that still has crabgrass roots in it. Looks like you did a pretty thorough job stripping off the front lawn. Getting rid of that nasty weed is great; as you can't kill it.

Brings back memories - I reworked my front yard at my previous house by using roundup on the crabgrass-infested lawn and then rototilling it in before planting about 1000 sqft of sod. Big mistake. It looked really good for about 2 years, then the crabgrass came back with a vengeance from underneath everywhere and completely destroyed the lawn.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

Ah, chickens!

So fun, so NOISY.

Wabbits are nice and quiet, like knives . . . .

not too much noise...just tons of poop right outside the sliding doors! :rant::crying:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

Nice project. If I can suggest anything - if you had any crabgrass in the lawn earlier, get rid of ANY soil that still has crabgrass roots in it. Looks like you did a pretty thorough job stripping off the front lawn. Getting rid of that nasty weed is great; as you can't kill it.

Brings back memories - I reworked my front yard at my previous house by using roundup on the crabgrass-infested lawn and then rototilling it in before planting about 1000 sqft of sod. Big mistake. It looked really good for about 2 years, then the crabgrass came back with a vengeance from underneath everywhere and completely destroyed the lawn.

Good points... I have been watering the dirt to see if anything comes back up.. and it has! Bermuda grass can grow from a tiny sprig of rhizome and some remaining grass seeds have sprouted.. I suppose this is the soil "curing" time.. will remove weeds as needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KennyRE317

Nice project. If I can suggest anything - if you had any crabgrass in the lawn earlier, get rid of ANY soil that still has crabgrass roots in it. Looks like you did a pretty thorough job stripping off the front lawn. Getting rid of that nasty weed is great; as you can't kill it.

Brings back memories - I reworked my front yard at my previous house by using roundup on the crabgrass-infested lawn and then rototilling it in before planting about 1000 sqft of sod. Big mistake. It looked really good for about 2 years, then the crabgrass came back with a vengeance from underneath everywhere and completely destroyed the lawn.

Good points... I have been watering the dirt to see if anything comes back up.. and it has! Bermuda grass can grow from a tiny sprig of rhizome and some remaining grass seeds have sprouted.. I suppose this is the soil "curing" time.. will remove weeds as needed.

mulch will be your friend. my yard was dry for about 2+ years and when we got a little moisture from rain weeds would pop up all over the place, now i rarely see weeds. my lower backyard area is still mostly uncovered dirt and i do see weeds there much more often

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pete in Paradise Hills

of course if you have the funds you could go with artificial turf, carve out some 4x4 foot planters and frame with bender board, then I can guarantee you'll have zero weeds....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
John Case

artificial turf in a garden thread? Blasphemy! :yay:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alicehunter2000

Great stuff. Nothing like a blank canvas. As others have said, keep us posted with progress shots like Alicehunters yard in florida. That was also a great yard makeover. If you have some time just search for it. I'd post a link but im on my phone

Thanks Man!

It's not too late to sketch out your design on graph paper.....get those big book pads from office supply place....it will really help rather than just eyeball ing it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DoomsDave

Ah, chickens!

So fun, so NOISY.

Wabbits are nice and quiet, like knives . . . .

not too much noise...just tons of poop right outside the sliding doors! :rant::crying:

A sure cure . . .

Have a potluck chicken feast with fresh young chicken.

Wait till you get a rooster who loves to crow. Like 7-11, 24/7, no heaven. Outside your bedroom window, in the middle of the night.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

Love this rain we are finally getting here in LA / OC. Took some time to compile a bunch of pics I've taken over the last couple months to pull inspiration from...

photo-38.jpg

photo-37.jpg

photo-60.jpg

photo-43.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

Vertical Gardening to the next level.

photo-51.jpg

photo-58.jpg

photo-59.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

Inspiration from Napa.

photo-48.jpg

photo-44.jpg

and DTLA arts district...

photo-49.jpg

and from the Anaheim Packing House

photo-52.jpg

Edited by OverGrown
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

photo-57.jpg

photo-54.jpg

photo-56.jpg

photo-53.jpg

photo-55.jpg

Edited by OverGrown
  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pip

I want a Peacock in my garden too. I love the sound of their call. The last one that lived in my neighborhood took on a Semi trailer and lost!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KennyRE317

i go to the Anaheim Packing House from time to time and always loved looking at their Tillandsia display

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Matt in OC

Where is the last set of pictures from?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

Where is the last set of pictures from?

LA Botanical Garden across from Santa Anita Racetracks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

FINALLY...Removed another 25yrds. 100yards total thus far... My entire rare palm budget has been tapped out for the moment...Actively looking for cool palm sponsors now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

Update: say goodbye to the final pile of contaminated dirt. daughter is 39 inches tall for scale.

photo-67.jpg

I wanted to secure a certain quantity of plants so I had to go out of order and acquire them despite the soil not being ready for planting.

Here I have them layed out to get an idea of spacing.

Mexican feather grass mass planting in three rows spaced 32" apart.

photo-68.jpg

photo-70.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

First of three deliveries of pure compost...roughly 40 yards in total.. the idea is that I wanted to have the compost tilled in before grading and the first phase of trenching so that I could achieved a deeper level of amended soil once everything is finished.

photo-71.jpg

photo-72.jpg

Spread but untilled. Side note: I spread this first 15yrs by shovel and barrel by myself in two shifts going 4hrs straight and then another 2hrs later in the day.. by the time I was done, I couldn't use my arms for two days after.

photo-75.jpg

photo-74.jpg

Edited by OverGrown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

the back yard spread with roughly 6 inches of compost, untilled.

photo-76.jpg

planted a few things to keep me inspired..

photo-77.jpg

kept the plants in the driveway to keep me motivated to keep going...

photo-73.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

and then I rented a hydraulic tiller, thing must have weighed a few hundred pounds and made light work of the compacted clay.

photo-78.jpg

also acquired three 24" box pink tabebuia trees while in bloom so that I could verify the flower colors... this front yard is southwest facing and I needed shade.

photo-79.jpg

Edited by OverGrown
  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tropicdoc

Strong dirt work! That will pay off decades into the future. I tilled in amendments for a 6 foot wide planting bed and that was hard enough! Looks like you worked your butt off.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

Went beast mode and graded by hand over 6hrs with a 36" razorback landscaping rake...I was the hulk by the time it was all done and found a new appreciation for japanese rock gardens and why they are raked.... enlightening stuff.

photo-80.jpg

Peep the clean lines

photo-81.jpg

So fresh so clean

photo-82.jpg

i really enjoyed looking back on it when it was done...too bad it wasn't going to remain this way with the next round of trenching and digging.

photo-83.jpg

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

More compost..I don't have pictures of the trench for a 25' retaining wall that has been dug out. You can see hints of it behind the truck where the caution tape is. Trench is roughly 25 feet long and three feet wide and 2ft deep so far... the excess dirt was used to build up the planting "border." this last 5 yrds was used to mix in with that clay.

photo-84.jpg

photo-85.jpg[/u

photo-86.jpg

Edited by OverGrown

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

Markings for upcoming work

photo-87.jpg

Holes were dug 4ft wide by 2ft deep and back filled 50/50 compost to original clay. After the holes were dug, I drilled about 50 half inch holes with my hammer drill into the hardpan. Trees were spaced 25ft apart. Compost spread in the border but has yet to be tilled and graded.

photo-88.jpg

the trench you see here is the beginning of a curved pathway to the backyard.

photo-89.jpg

As it sits now...other work not shown included cutting 100ft run of concrete to later be demo'd and so that I can run irrigation, electrical and gas.

photo-90.jpg

Stay tuned!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OverGrown

Strong dirt work! That will pay off decades into the future. I tilled in amendments for a 6 foot wide planting bed and that was hard enough! Looks like you worked your butt off.

Thanks, I wanted to fundamentally change the characteristics of the soil and I know this will be good at least another 50yrs..when all is said and done.. the soil will have been amended 16" in most areas and up to 26" in a few areas. That is more than enough for most planting root volumes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tassie_Troy1971

great work

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hammer

Well done! Maybe you mentioned it already but I'm curious to know what your irrigation plans are.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...