Friday, January 23, 2009


I got this little desert willow tree a while ago. It was a gift from my Dad with some money he gave me for Christmas, and I was really happy to find one small enough for me to afford. Often they are really big, and really expensive. I love desert willow trees because they are extremely drought tolerant when established, and they have beautiful, scented flowers in the spring and summer that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

It doesn't look like much right now with its bare branches, but hopefully by the summer it will be looking something like the one we have in our front yard which though still quite small, is rather pretty. These pictures were taken last summer.

I have spent literally hours walking around the back yard looking for the perfect spot to plant my new tree. I kept moving it around and trying to find the perfect spot, and so I was relieved to finally make a decision, and to start digging a hole.

We have irrigation in our backyard as most people do out here, and I am not used to irrigation coming from England where we don't really need it. I am usually pretty careful about where and how I dig, and have so far managed to avoid any major issues. Not so yesterday unfortunately. I managed to put a large hole through one of the main irrigation pipes for our grass.

I literally saw dollar signs flash before my eyes as soon as I did it because irrigation repair is very expensive, and although Robert is pretty handy at the minor stuff, I think this will involve replacing an entire length of pipe.

My only slight consilation is that we are planning to completely re-do the irrigation back there anyway later in the year before we xeriscape, but that will be dependent on finances of course. So for now, we have a hole back there with a busted pipe inside, and I still have a desert willow tree in a pot waiting to be planted.

I was out there just now and I actually think I may have found a better spot anyway. Decisions, decisions......


bodaat said...

Oh dear! I hope you are able to repair it for little to nothing. Duct tape?

Mo said...

Haha! I think that even the magic powers of duct tape may not be enough to handle quite such a large hole.

Amy said...

What a great little willow tree. I can't wait to get a new tree for my backyard.

I love that last pic of Emily and the hole. She looks so amused by the busted pipe situation. Why are kids so drawn to broken things? (Or is that just my kids?)

I hope xerioscaping works out so you don't have to bother with fixing the pipe.

Jenn said...

If you don't mind small plants, try the Botanical Garden spring and fall sales.

I bought a desert willow there a year ago, then stuck it in a pot. It's doubled in size, and seems to do okay in pot culture.

Mo said...

Amy, yes Emily thought the entire thing was hilarious including my swearing and jumping up and down! :)

Jenn, thanks, and I love small plants because it means I don't have to dig such big holes in our impossibly hard Phoenix soil! I used to be able to get lots of one gallon plants but they don't seem to be stocked as frequently these days in nurseries around the valley, or at least not the ones I go to. I will try to DBG plant sale. We are members but I have yet to go.

leaner said...

OMGOSH!!!! I did that on Thursday! I am so pissed.

I thought it was just a little hole, but today it flooded the ENTIRE side yard. I am so mad. I will have to call my landscaper, because I am not handy with pipes. :( I am mortified that I did this to my drip system.

Mo said...

Well you aren't alone, and I too still feel annoyed at myself. I did manage to successfully plant the tree yesterday without causing any more damage. (At least I hope not!) Maybe when he is done at your house you could send your landscaper my way? :)