The tipping-point was my trip to Phoenix back in February: I was stunned by the beauty of the cacti, agaves, and aloes.
|An elegant and sculptural Palo Verde on the grounds of our hotel|
|The Desert Botanical Garden|
|Organ Pipe cactus|
|Octopus cactus (Stenocereus alamosensis)|
|Argentine Giant cactus (Echinopsis candicans)|
|Aloes and lavender on the hotel grounds|
|Unknown aloe, with 'Blue Flame' in the background?|
|Aloes at the Desert Botanical Garden|
|Blue Glow agave, lining the driveway to the hotel.|
|Agave 'Blue Glow' collage|
My sticking point has been the drainage situation: you might recall that it's the side of the house where all the water runs from the back yard to the street (see posts here and here). I didn't want to plant a bunch of really cool xeric stuff only to watch it rot.
I mentally debated a dry creek bed leading from the gate to the street, but then someone explained to me that I'd need to pull all the rocks out every 5 years or so, re-trench it sorta-kinda, and put all the rocks back? Um, no.
I finally decided that maybe if I put down big, wide, flat pavers the water could just run over those and I'd never have to worry about sediment build-up on/under them. Not sure if that's sound logic, but it's the logic I went with because it gave me justification for buying big, wide, flat pavers.
I pinned by brains out on Pinterest to get design ideas (what the heck did we DO before that??), emailed my landscaping guy like 30 times with different paver patterns (okay, three times), and then, with my tax refund check in hand (virtually speaking), it was time.
|Getting rid of the stupid floppy hated shrubs|
|Daisy inspecting their work|
My only regret is choosing 1/2 inch granite to fill in between the pavers. It. Goes. Everywhere.
I'm a little nervous that it's too high to really direct the water to the street, but I guess we'll find out!
Phase II: plants!