03 May 2011

How My Yard Went From This...

To this:

Yes, as soon as we had the yard all smooth and even, the sprinkler guys tore it up to install the irrigation lines.

We're in the middle of a pretty severe drought down here in Central Texas. It finally rained for a little while yesterday after I-don't-know-how-long without any precipitation. So irrigation is really important for a healthy landscape (especially when it's just getting established...and especially if it's just getting established in May, when it could easily be 90 degrees every day).

As an aside, it's also really important in these here parts to choose native and drought-tolerant plants, not only to save money but also just to save water for the sake of saving water. This is a totally inappropriate environment to try to force tropical plants or anything from northern climates. Some people do choose to go that route -- and I won't deny that the results can be gorgeous -- but drought-tolerant is the way to go.

(One moment, please, while I climb off of my soapbox.)

So, with plans to choose regionally appropriate plants, we moved toward installation of a sprinkler system. In this system, the lawn will have regular sprinkler heads, but most of the bed areas (and the trees) will be served by a drip system. The sprinkler guy made a point to mention that the system is a tool to use water more efficiently than watering with a hose, and that's especially true with the drip system, where each plant in a bed will be served by its own dripper (called an "emitter") under the mulch layer (putting the water exactly where it's needed and minimizing evaporation). And, by code, the system is required to have a rain sensor so the pre-programmed settings won't start up if it has recently rained.

Anyway, to get ready for the installation, we had to install the edging (done) and also deal with the huge piles of gravel and stone that we had brought back to the vegetable garden area when we had the bobcat:

Had we planned better, we would have measured where the vegetable garden beds are going to be and not piled up the gravel and extra house stone right there. But that ship had sailed, so we spread the gravel a bit (including on the left side of the house) and moved the stones (and some brick) to the fence area:

Then we weren't so much concerned about spreading the rest of the gravel (there's too much, since we got enough for the right side of the house, between the pavers on the front walkway, and other special projects, none of which are priorities right now) as simply getting it out of the path to the two vegetable beds so they could easily cut through the landscaping fabric and run the irrigation lines there. So we ended up with this:

Good enough. For now.

After all, they were about to tear everything apart:

Because we had already spread the gravel on the left side of the house, they used the right side to get the lines to the backyard.

Fortunately, our landscape designer had mentioned that we should have the driveway folks put some PVC piping under the driveway to run irrigation lines to the other side:

By the end of the day, everything was in (although the drip system is only partially complete -- the rest will have to wait until our plantings are in) and order was restored to our yard.

Is it just me, or do you hear it calling out for sod?

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