• Then and Now-The back slope

    by  • February 12, 2012 • Design, Garden

    Pinterest

    In a series of Then and Now photos, it’s satisfying to look back nostalgically to see how far we have come.  Bought in 2000, and in a completely natural area, we’ve tried to preserve the beauty of our 7 acres near the Sierra foothills of California, as we make a place for ourselves in this beautiful spot. The house was started in February 2004 and finished in December 2005, lived three months in a trailer here and the garden was started in earnest in 2006.

    In cutting the house pad, a method called cut and fill was used on our 15 degree slope.  This is the ‘down’ side at the ‘back’ of the house, but where all the windows are placed to take advantage of the view looking east.

    Slope below the house in Spring 2005

    Slope below the house in Spring 2005

    A downspout was fitted between the two small windows and a drain was installed going down the hill to a specially designed rain garden.  Looking at this picture for the rain garden post yesterday reminded me of the progress made on the plantings done to maintain the slope.

    This is what I planted in 2006:
    Lavender, rockrose, thyme, euphorbia, santolina, lamb’s ears, artemesia, phlomis or Jerusalem sage, iris, and  a rose. There were Sticky Whiteleaf Manzanita, M. viscida existing

    Slope below the house in Spring 2010

    Slope below the house in Spring 2010

    Here, five years later, are steps leading down from the stamped concrete patio leading to a path with rock steps.  The plants on the slope have every color of greenery so even in the off season there is interest and texture.

    Slope below the house in Spring 2010, wider view

    Slope below the house in Spring 2010, wider view

    In the wider view, the growth of the pine is striking,…it’s grown from a 6 foot to a 30 foot tree. Rocks rescued from the septic digging, at great risk (to me, dodging the backhoe) were used to construct the steps. Alongside were enough rocks to line a shallow trench to direct water downhill.  The concrete ‘blocks’ were found by a dumpster, snagged with seemingly no embarrassment, and I like the grotto look of them at the end.

    Planted to the left of the path are Variegated Sweet iris, Iris pallida, common iris, Pincushion flower or Scabiosa columbaria, Snow-in-summer or Cerastium tomentosum, and California fescue.

    To the right of the path is Ajuga, Swan River daisy or Brachycome and White sedum, S. album clusianum. On the path itself is creeping thyme.

    Slope plantings in November 2011

    Slope plantings in November 2011

    The slope in off season still has plenty of color and texture.

    More:
    Then and Now-The stamped patio

    Share and Enjoy

    Pinterest

    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.