Saturday, October 13, 2007

Finally Some Time in the Field

I've been captive to the indoors for almost a week. By the time I left my school at night, it was already dark.

It couldn't be helped, but that didn't make it any easier. By this weekend, I was starved for time outside.

I started late this afternoon with a stroll around the grounds.

I can't wait for the spring - magnolias are a favorite of mine. As a non-native, I'd never seen one until I moved south two years ago. It wasn't until near the end of the school year that I saw one in bloom for the first time.

Even after the blooms dried up, the magnolias provided cover for other organisms. They are, however, quite eager to spread, and will take over readily any empty space.

Other pushy plants are below:

Monkey Grass will colonize, given a chance.

So will ivy. This year, I've chosen to allow it free roam. With drought conditions, it seemed better to allow a little temporary overgrowth than leave soil uncovered. Although I've found that most of the grounds have adapted to the lack of water, the mosses have taken a hit.

When we first saw the house in July, what part of the ground that didn't have grass was covered in mosses. At that time, they were moist and green. As can be seen above, most have dried up. With the water restrictions, I'm hand-watering any vegetables, and letting the rest fend for itself. I've left the dropped leaves and clippings as mulch cover for now. That has helped with water retention.

I'm noticing many of the shrubs and trees appear stressed. Bugs are chomping down vigorously, and one of the trees has some brown spots on it. I'm assuming that's not healthy.

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