Friday, March 14. 2008
We received an abatement notice in the spring of 2006 and it ordered us to remove all non-natives from within 100 feet of any dwelling. It turns out that was out-of-line and the rules really do allow and even encourage some natives within even the first 50 feet. It angered us that a bogus fire inspector (a contractor from Fire Protection Services - a brush/weed clearing company) could make such an order and that people would follow it like sheep. So we set out to convert our front yard to native vegetation. We did not just rip it out and re-do it. The landscaping that was there when we moved in was quite old and nice, though non-native, so we are doing a more gradual transition. When our oaks grow a bit larger we will cut down the ecualyptus in the middle of the yard. We've ripped out some geraniums and replaced them with low-growing native lilacs. We've ripped out some oleanders and jade plant and are replacing them with a hedge of toyon.
Here is one of them.
We bought 16 of these toyons at a California Native Plant Society plant sale, but could not get them planted before we had to leave on a three week trip, so we stuck them in the garage, hoping they wouldn't die. One did, but the rest survived even though our three week trip turned into seven. Then we planted them in July, 2006 and buried a soaker hose along the line of toyons and watered them regularly. They struggled along until this winter when they erupted.
Look at the size of this one. It is almost 3' tall now.
It will still be a few years before they grow together into a hedge, but they will get there.
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