Sister A. has also bemoaned the giant lack of grass in the areas of our yard that lie around the neighbor's two fruitless mulberry trees. Some idiot way back in the history of that home's ownership planted these two trees right next to the driveway, just inside the property line. I'm sure he or she wanted shade there, and that wouldn't be a problem, except that fruitless mulberries grow to be really big. Like, this big:
|Examples of mature fruitless mulberry trees.|
Fortunately, our neighbor agreed to go halvsies on the cost of cutting down her two trees, so A. asked our neighborhood lawn man if he knew a tree guy (which he did), then arranged for said tree guy to not only cut down those trees, but also grind up all the stumps in the front yard. He ground up the mulberry tree stumps, our sycamore stump, and all the remaining pyracantha shrub stumps. So now we have a clean slate to start with.
|Our house and the neighbor's, currently treeless.|
What Sister A. really likes are desert willows. Here are some samples, with a car for comparison and a close-up of the flowers:
|Examples of desert willow trees.|
Well, I thought about that for a week and, at breakfast the next Saturday, asked why it mattered. Turns out there was no good reason. There are plenty of xeriscaped ranch houses in Arizona with desert willows in front of them. They're pretty, the canopy isn't dense enough to kill the grass, the bean pods are small, they don't need huge amounts of water, and since they're lighter than yer regulation deciduous tree, we can get two for the same price as a single cedar elm. They won't throw the same amount of shade on my window as a big tree would, but it'll be enough. And we like them. So why not?
And, hey, said A., if we're going with desert willows, why not replace the struggling euonymus in the front of our house with drought-friendly pampas grass, which we also both like?
So that's what we're doing. We zipped back home for our hats and long-sleeve shirts, went back out to the nursery, and looked at all their desert willows. They had one with white flowers--A. hadn't seen those before and really liked them--plus one with maroony/purplish flowers that had a nice shape. We hailed a passing employee, stuck our names on those trees, and got the name of their tree guy. He's coming out Monday to look at the layout and determine where the trees ought to go (we've staked our suggested spots).
Having arranged that, we went to Home Depot for pampas grass, topsoil, and a few other supplies. Then home to plant. The euonymous in front got moved to a spot with partial shade in back, where they should be much happier.
|Sister A. in her slat-bonnet, digging new holes.|
|The euonymus in their new home. That little stone cairn marks the spot|
where caladium bulbs were planted last week, five on each side.
|The new pampas grasses will grow much bigger--we'll have to keep them tamed!|
|Rubber tiles cover the poured-concrete stepping stones.|