November 28, 2015
By guest contributor Roberto Stepanovich
As you may know, Southern California is in the middle of a serious drought and everyone is being asked to reduce their use of water. Our backyard has a lot of green areas that require constant watering and we wanted to start reducing the amount of water that we use, so we decided to take out some of the plants in certain areas and replace them with succulents and a drip watering system. With an extended summer, it took longer than we had hoped for weather cool enough to work in the yard. Finally, Fall came to SoCal.
I'll confess that I'm not a big fan of yardwork, but I take pride in our home and wanted to cut down on our water bills, so my wife and I worked together on some parts of the yard. I did much of the more labor intensive work, such as digging out the well-established plants, and she did most of the work on the sprinklers and drip watering system. After digging out the plants in these areas, we leveled the ground, laid down weed cloth to prevent growth and planted some succulents, each fed by its own drip spigot. We then added a few small yard sculptures, like the turtles seen in this photo, and a layer of redwood mulch to add color and further prevent weeds.
The plants are getting established and one of them (on the far left of the photo) has grown a huge stalk with pretty white flowers. This took far less time than if one person had done it, and it was an activity that we could share. When we look out into the yard, we not only see something that looks good, we see something we did together as a couple. There is much more to do, but by working together, we get to spend more time with each other and get a sense of accomplishment at the same time. But it's the spending of more time together that is most important.