There is one side of the front yard I rarely show:
It is dominated by a Japanese mock orange hedge (Pittosporum tobira). This hedge might look decent elsewhere but here it is crammed into a 6-foot 48-foot planting strip and needs constant maintenance to keep the branches away from the sidewalk (a city requirement). The constant pruning has exposed the trunks—and ugly sight I try to ignore as much as possible.
On a positive note, the hedge does well with no supplemental water (its roots must tap into the irrigated planting beds inside the fence) and it does make our backyard very private.
In spite of that, the time has come for the hedge to go. I simply want something more attractive on that side of the property.
This project is still in a very early design stage but I know I want two main features: an Aloe ‘Hercules’, a cold-hardy tree aloe that can grow to 30 ft., plus another palo verde, probably a hybrid called ‘Sonoran Emerald’ that has a slightly bluer trunk that ‘Desert Museum’ (the hybrid we already have) and somewhat larger leaves. Like ‘Desert Museum’, it is thornless, grows quickly, and puts on a fantastic flower show in the spring.
In addition, I envision lots of agaves and desert perennials, a few desert shrubs, and an assortment of larger and smaller rocks. The focus will be on xeric plants that will look good no matter whether we’re in a drought or not.
Here is a preliminary plant list:
Plants I already have:
Agave cerulata var. nelsonii
Agave deserti var. simplex (2x)
Agave parryi var. truncata
Yucca rostrata (2x)
Plants to buy:
Agave gentryi 'Jaws'
Leucophyllum frutescens ‘Compacta’
The first step is to have the hedge removed and the trunks ground out. The second step is to have a truck load of sandy soil and decomposed granite brought in to create a mound approx. 1½ ft. in height. Then the fun of sourcing the plants and creating a planting scheme can begin.
I want the project to be completed by the end of March so the plants can settle in before summer arrives. Things should start happening pretty soon.
For all posts related to this project, click here.