Thursday, April 17, 2008


We have an area on the west side of the house. It is where my (beautiful!) washing line is, and where one of the AC units is, and where everything else gets dumped. It is the last area that needs planting. I have put in two Shoestring Acia trees already, but nothing else. This area only really gets sun in the afternoon and is very hot in summer. I want this area to be very low maintainence without much, if any irrigation so that it can pretty much look after itself.

This is the view looking north. (Not very pretty!) You can see the wellworn path along the wall that the dogs have made running up and down. It would be nearly impossible to plant stuff there without it being trampled underfoot.

This is the view looking south. It is narrow here and dark!

My idea right now is to plant a variety of completely native plants,(except for the Acacia's already there), mostly from seed, plants like Globemallow, Triangle Bursage, Brittlebush, and Desert Marigold . I also plan to buy a couple of Creosote plants because they are difficult to germinate from seed, and a few Baja Fairydusters, which aren't native but do well here.

There is a company called Plants of the Southwest that I have ordered seeds from before, and they have a good range of native seed. Another company is The Native Seed Company, based in Tucson. I can't find a web site for them, but I have bought seed mixes from stores blended by them.

Does anyone else have any other ideas for this spot? It is the most difficult part of the backyard so of course got left until last! It doesn't need to be amazing, I would really just like a wilder, uncultivated look to enjoy as I hang out my undies!


Amy said...

I know NOTHING about plants, but would some sort of vine do well in that type of area? It could decorate your wall without getting trampled on because it would grow up, not out. Just a thought...

Mo said...

Thats a good idea and a vine probably would do well but I don't want anything that might need irrigating. The native plants will need minimal, if any additional water once established. My other plan is to pain that ugly wall. I am loking at colors at the moment. It would be a big job but worth it I think.

bodaat said...

If you're going to the paint, I would recommend investing in one of those sprayers otherwise you'll be out there forever.

Mo said...

It's funny you should say that because I just painted about a square foot of the wall as a test area, and you are right, it took me ages!!! Can you rent the sprayers do you know? Any ideas for color? I have a crazy desire to do a very dark green, would that be wierd?

leaner said...

I think putting in a lot of native plants (creosote! Hooray!) sounds like a good idea. If you do a vine, Snail vines grow fast and cover a lot, you do have to train them a little to get them to grow up (and use a nice trellis). They don't take a lot of water, but do require some.

You can pick them up at lowe's, home depot or any nursery around town.
Paint sprayers are well worth it to just have. I wish we had one...

Mo said...

Thanks for the info! I don't know anything about snail vine but it looks so pretty from the link, and I am thinking more and more that a vine would be fine, and of course look really nice! (Thanks Amy! :)

The painting is a whole other story that I will blog about another day...............:)

Esther Montgomery said...

We've formed a small branch of the 'Support Arizonan Washing Lines Society' (SAWLS) - here in Dorset.

So far, my family has joined - and we have lots of supporters - cos I'm saying to everyone I meet 'Did you know they don't use washing lines in Arizona?' - and everyone thinks it is very odd and surprising.

The conversation has a set pattern

- 'But isn't it hot and dry there?'

Then, this funny expression comes over people's faces - and they say, in a kind of surreal daze

- 'Surely they don't use tumble dryers!'

And I come over all knowledgable . . . !


Mo said...

Ha ha Esther, that is HILARIOUS! :):)