Tuesday, May 12, 2015


In our retirement park, the homes are all manufactured homes, some small, some large, all well kept and well maintained.  We don't have a large front yard -- which is exactly the way we wanted it, but the ice plant in front of the house, was beginning to die off and needed replacing with....something.  So I got busy and designed what I thought would be attractive, low maintenance and drought resistant.  We are under strictly regulated water usage in our area because we are now in our fourth year of drought.  The change has been in the works for a couple of months (We had to have HOA approval first.)  So now it is all finished I have some photos to show the change we have made.


The tree is a Lantana and has never stopped blooming since the day we moved in.   The purple flowers at either end are bouganvillea which flower most of the year and will grow like a vine, which I plan to train to drape over the shell and the stones in a limited way.  It should only need trimming. We also put a pot of Fortnight Lilies at either end to add some greenery. They are named that because they flower every fortnight.  They are also easy to grow and don't mind the hot weather. Finally, we left the one solitary sago palm where it was originally planted by the previous owner.

The fisherman is a tribute to my growing up years in the village of Flamborough on the East Coast of Yorkshire.  We bought him a good number of years ago and hadn't found the right place for him in our new yard until now.

We have had lots of positive comments from passers-by.  Even the park manager said she liked it. The only negative factor was that we had to take out our tulip tree.  It was still quite small, but as they can grow extremely large--as tall as 50 feet -- it was probably not a good place to have it.  In addition it had to be protected from frost which we could do at this size, but would have had some difficulty as it got much larger, even though we only have a few nights of frost per year.

I know rocks are not a good substitute for grass, but in our climate they fare much better than grass.

All in all we are quite pleased and look forward to seeing the plants develop.


This is my contribution to ABC WEDNESDAY, that enormously popular and successful project begun by Mrs. Nesbitt and continued by Roger Owen Green and his team of volunteers.  To see more fascinating and educational entrees please click HERE.


Ann said...

Oh I love what you did!!! The colors are lovely with the rock. There were lots of rock gardens where we used to live in New Mexico. We do our best with our grass.

Gill - That British Woman said...

perfect low maintenance and they don't much water.

Photo Cache said...

I didn't realize lantana is drought tolerant.


kaybee said...

I love the new look, Chris...a beautiful design, and yet very practical, given your climate. I think the shells are very attractive and you've found the perfect spot for the Flamborough fisherman. He deserves to be seen and admired!

Beverley Baird said...

Your re-design is beautiful. Drought is a terrible thing to go through indeed.

snafu said...

Looks good, it is nice when you make changes that make you feel good about them.

Reader Wil said...

Hi Chris! You are amazing! You are creative and a skillful gardener. It looks so beautiful!
Wil, ABCW Team.

Roger Owen Green said...

Frankly, I think we ALL should be treating water as though we were in a drought. A precious commodity.
And you've done lovely stuff with that sensibility.


Trubes said...

Hi Chris,
Your efforts have not been in vain the garden looks stunning, so colourful and I like the rocks instead of grass. Grass only thrives in rainier climates like the UK and even we have droughts!
The fisherman is lovely, a little piece of home.
Best wishes,
ABCW team.

Patty said...

I also like it so much better. You did a good job. Rocks work fine in areas when you can't water.

Hope your health is doing ok. Our one daughter had gall bladder surgery yesterday. I'm still suffering the pain from the shingles I had. In fact, I have more pain now then when I had the shingles.

Beautiful day here, sun is shining, but it's rather cool compared to what we've been having.

Take care of yourself. Love the new landscaping.

Gayle said...

A wonderful design. The pebbles in the fisherman's area are the perfect choice.

Obsessivemom said...

You are a design genius. It looks adorable. I had no idea lantana could look so attractive. I see it all the time as most hedges here are made of it. But the way you put it, it's simply beautiful. '
PS: Love that man in his boat too.
Hope the drought ends soon and brings even more greenery to your little corner.

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

I was trying to guess if the plant is a Lantana. Glad I persisted. The Lantana in Chinese is the same as the Malay name. Something not nice. Since then, I found out not all Lantanas smell bad.

For me, out of the not so good smelly, I have a wonderful memory of my girl.

Thanks for telling that it is blogger and not us that is causing the problem.

Gattina said...

It looks beautiful ! And your retirement home too ! What a wonderful place !

Rajesh said...

Beautiful work of re design.

Canadian Chickadee said...

It looks lovely. I do love the little fisherman. So charming. xoxox

Unknown said...

Wow! I like what you did. The rocks are nice and require no watering. It reminds me of Tucson, Arizona landscapes when I lived there before I went into the Army. I see my wife , Pat, has been here to see your blog. I was surprised to see you and your comments.

Black Jack's Carol said...

No wonder you have had positive comments! Apart from the fact I think you have done a fabulous job of designing a new look for your front yard. The fisherman is SO perfect in that setting, and the overall look reflects creativity, imagination and a deep regard for the resources the good earth has at its disposal in your part of the world.

Barbara said...

I love it and a great way to cut down on the work and water usage.