Gandhi said, To forget how to dig the earth and tend the soil is to forget ourselves . I was late to campus today having forgotten myself in the yard.
For years, our back and side yards have been covered in fertile soil that's now hardened at about one inch deep. We welcomed our guests to the backyard by going down a narrow concrete path bordered by lots of dirt. I recently decided to do something about this by using a combination of small bark, 150 lbs of smooth river stones, Emerald Cushions, and perennial flowers. This will also reduce the likelihood of Ocean getting his muddy paws all over my increasingly fewer nice pants.
Other plants we've grown over the years: bougainvilla, flax, wild grass, Mexican sage, rosemary, daisies, star jasmine, 6 queen palm trees, lemon and lime trees, plantain trees that are too hardy and grow like weeds, and mini rose bushes. Our biggest mistake was planting ficus trees. The City is currently hacking away at ficus trees on our cross street whose roots interrupt sewage systems and destroy sidewalks. This was the shadiest street in our neighborhood; you could recognize it instantly atop our closest hill and from satellite maps. Incidentally, half the street was able to avoid the ficus chopping probably because a former mayor lives there.