• Scale Map of the Sierra Foothill Garden

    by  • March 21, 2011 • Home Building, Our diary-the first five years • 12 Comments

    This is a November 2001 entry from my recently found diary. The diary chronicles how we bought the property and our first five years before the house was ready. For how we got to this point, see Inspiration or the category ‘Our diary’

    “Just after bidding on our new property near Yosemite, disaster struck! Daughter, Jolie, 19, had been struck by a car, breaking both her legs. Between the months of November through April, while Jolie was recuperating from her accident, I drew this diagram of the property, not knowing when we would be able to see it again.

    Property map

    Property diagram

    Description of the property
    The seven acre property is one of seven lots on the cul-de-sac. The whole forty some acres had been a goat farm or ranch named Shangri-la Ranch. It is on a grade of approximately 16%, pretty steep and the driveway was about 500 feet down. There was somewhat of a circle drive at the end and a short dirt road heading toward a weedy pond and an old goat shed.  “Is that shed on the lot?”, I asked. Yes, it was, I was told and when investigating it saw that it had beautifully weathered cedar plank construction, a dirt floor, metal paneled roof, a manger and lots of bugs, bees and scorpions.

    There is a steeply sided dry stream, running down the center of the property, with tall oaks on either side. In a flat area a pond caught any rain water coming down from above at street level. This ‘pond’ was filled with scraggly willows and would never be in view of the house, so was deemed useless and we decided to have it filled in for a flat parking area for guest and guests with trailers or motorhomes.

    The house pad
    There is a large flatish area where the house must go. No other place looked feasible, although there is a large meadow area below the goat shed for some possible future use. We hope to have the house pad graded this year. To the north and east was the Sierra National Forest. To the west and south were the two neighbors, but not visible from our place.  We listened for any traffic noise and heard nothing.  Only when eighteen wheelers or a group of motorcyclists pass by would we hear any traffic.

    The ‘back’ of the house, when built, would face east and we wanted a big deck with shade in the afternoons. Our friends from Reno had such an east facing deck, and we knew it would be comfortable all year round. All around where the pad would be had tall oaks, Interior Live Oaks and Ponderosa Pines. Poison oak choked all the brush and manzanita and surrounded all the trees. Getting rid of that would be top priority.

    Command post table plan

    Command post table plan

    Plans for a lookout
    Also a plan for a redwood table was drawn, to be placed on the hill above where the house would be, somewhere where we could sit in the shade of the three tall pines and watch our new home be built. The neighbors dubbed this spot as our ‘command post’.

    I should say we don’t know when that will be!  Larry isn’t ready to retire and our youngest child is still 13.  We plan to camp here and plan our plans until then.

    While Jolie healed, I made plans to take photographs of the property and research house building, something I never thought I’d do.”

    Next:   April 2001 We spend the whole week, camping

    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.

    12 Responses to Scale Map of the Sierra Foothill Garden

    1. March 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      The thought of planting myself on a gorgeous piece of land has a real romantic pull. I’ll probably never do it, but then the right combination of land and life situation has never joined forces. Aren’t you glad you took the leap, though? It looks like you found the right place at the right time.

    2. March 21, 2011 at 8:13 pm

      The thought of planting myself on a gorgeous piece of land has a real romantic pull. I’ll probably never do it, but then the right combination of land and life situation has never joined forces. Aren’t you glad you took the leap, though? It looks like you found the right place at the right time.

    3. March 22, 2011 at 1:49 am

      What a fascinating trip down memory lane…even seeing your diagrams & rough sketches done at the time was very interesting!!! 🙂

      By now, Jolie’s then, horrific and awful accident, is over…I hope she healed well, both physically and psychologically? It must have been an awful time for all of you! At only 19, then, she’s coming up 30, now! Wow! Time does have a nasty habit of flying, doesn’t it? And your youngest, at 13, then, now already 23. And, there you are, living your dream on your 7 acre plot, and can fondly look back on all the planning and hard work that went into creating it! 🙂

      Such a lovely story…thank you for sharing it!!!

    4. March 22, 2011 at 1:49 am

      What a fascinating trip down memory lane…even seeing your diagrams & rough sketches done at the time was very interesting!!! 🙂

      By now, Jolie’s then, horrific and awful accident, is over…I hope she healed well, both physically and psychologically? It must have been an awful time for all of you! At only 19, then, she’s coming up 30, now! Wow! Time does have a nasty habit of flying, doesn’t it? And your youngest, at 13, then, now already 23. And, there you are, living your dream on your 7 acre plot, and can fondly look back on all the planning and hard work that went into creating it! 🙂

      Such a lovely story…thank you for sharing it!!!

    5. March 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm

      James, we started out camping and I think that’s how we grew to love the forest. I never thought I’d ever have a home built. Ever! We both had our own businesses, (no pension plans!) and were not well off, (always sppent our money traveling), so just proves you never know what the future will bring. But we did make it happen.
      You have wonderful country east of you and that was one of our favorite wyas to go when touring on the Goldwing. many trips down toward Julian, in fact that was where we chose to go, a big loop all over that area just before we left for good up here. I hope you get out there now and then.
      Hi Desiree, yes, it was traumatic, but fortunately I could care for her (took a year) because I had my own business, wedding photography. The alternative was a nursing home. Her friends ‘babysat’ her during the first few working days I had. My youngest is getting married this Fall.

    6. March 22, 2011 at 2:44 pm

      James, we started out camping and I think that’s how we grew to love the forest. I never thought I’d ever have a home built. Ever! We both had our own businesses, (no pension plans!) and were not well off, (always sppent our money traveling), so just proves you never know what the future will bring. But we did make it happen.
      You have wonderful country east of you and that was one of our favorite wyas to go when touring on the Goldwing. many trips down toward Julian, in fact that was where we chose to go, a big loop all over that area just before we left for good up here. I hope you get out there now and then.
      Hi Desiree, yes, it was traumatic, but fortunately I could care for her (took a year) because I had my own business, wedding photography. The alternative was a nursing home. Her friends ‘babysat’ her during the first few working days I had. My youngest is getting married this Fall.

    7. March 23, 2011 at 5:00 am

      Wedding coming up…may I guess who’ll be taking the photographs, now I know you were a wedding photographer in your past life? But…who’ll photograph the bride with her Mother, if it’s you behind the camera? I do hope you trained ‘your next in line’ well enough to do as good a job as you would do yourself?????

      • March 23, 2011 at 8:38 am

        Hi again! My brother and I have a deal when it comes to the kids’ weddings, Since he’s a photographer, too, he takes my children’s weddings and I’ll do the job for his! He’s a nature photog from beautiful Colorado, so when you want a change of scenery you could visit his website. http://www.wyattphoto.com

    8. March 23, 2011 at 5:00 am

      Wedding coming up…may I guess who’ll be taking the photographs, now I know you were a wedding photographer in your past life? But…who’ll photograph the bride with her Mother, if it’s you behind the camera? I do hope you trained ‘your next in line’ well enough to do as good a job as you would do yourself?????

      • March 23, 2011 at 8:38 am

        Hi again! My brother and I have a deal when it comes to the kids’ weddings, Since he’s a photographer, too, he takes my children’s weddings and I’ll do the job for his! He’s a nature photog from beautiful Colorado, so when you want a change of scenery you could visit his website. http://www.wyattphoto.com

    9. March 24, 2011 at 1:55 am

      Popped back to see if you’d left me a message…as always, you had! Thank you, Sue! Sounds like the perfcet arrangement! Thanks also for the link to your brother’s site. I’m going to take a peek right away and tell him you sent me 🙂

    10. March 24, 2011 at 1:55 am

      Popped back to see if you’d left me a message…as always, you had! Thank you, Sue! Sounds like the perfcet arrangement! Thanks also for the link to your brother’s site. I’m going to take a peek right away and tell him you sent me 🙂

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