Overview: Front Terraces, Right Side

Front of house, with "patch" in foreground

First we’ll give you a sense of what we’re working with. Why am I speaking in the “royal we?” It’s my blog, and I can do what I want. Also, it gives me the illusion of working with a team. But mostly I just forgot what I was doing. So sue me. But don’t expect to win much.

Anyway, here’s the front of the house. In the foreground is a small grassy area I’ll call “the patch”. It runs along the curb for about ten feet and is probably five feet deep. What do I know, though? I suck at measurements. A gardener who works across the street told me the weeds in there are going to kill those pink flowers — whatever they are — so I took some hedge shears and cut down everything that wasn’t pink. Looks like a haircut given with a Swiss Army Knife, but whatever.

The Patch, in its newly shorn glory.

On the right above the patch we have some terraces, and what I call “the land of confusion” begins. I know crap about plants (literally, if I knew less I’d be a piece of furniture) but man, even I can tell it’s a mess in there. The lady who owned this place before us was elderly, and maybe she just gave up. Like, many years ago. For all I know this entire area was designed by the wind and whatever seeds blew in from Rancho Cucamonga thirty years ago.

Weird flowers at top of patch


Bannister-loving hedge

As you can see we have some pink flowers (top) with a gross disease. Then, on the next level (above) a hedge embraces our bannister lustily. A nameless sapling hovers in the foreground — is it envious?

The next level up (below) sports a dense bracken of Birds of Paradise (yes, I know their name. Anyone in Southern California does. They’re the pigeons of the flower world), and then a spindly, miserable little spider plant thicket. And some other yellow plant. A poor relative, looks like. Anyway, I call this the “Spider Level.”

Spider plants, Birds of Paradise and some other random yellow thing

Then we come to the top level (below). Why of course! An admixture of mint and paper whites! Makes sense! I am particularly tickled by this section, as mint is one of the plants my mother told me I couldn’t kill. Until I did. My daughter calls the paper whites “paper towels.” I prefer this. Oh, and a lemon tree. And the world’s ugliest and most jarringly placed sprinkler system. Wanna shoot yourself yet? I do.

Top level, with Mint/Paper White medley

Next post: Front Left Terrace, otherwise known as “Cape Fear.”

2 thoughts on “Overview: Front Terraces, Right Side

  1. Frances Wells

    Hello! You are in for a lifetime of fun! Gardening is art, all about color, texture and composition. I myself am a “sink or swim” gardener. No pampering in my garden. If you can’t hack it, that is a plant, then you’re out! My greatest joy this summer were my squash and pumpkin plants. They climb, twist and turn covering a multitude of bare patches with their giant, fuzzy leaves. Every morning I would go out with my coffee and peak under the leaves to see a new bud sprouting into a pointy little butternut or a globe-like baby cheese pumpkin. They are worth every drop of water they consume. Of course, where I live on the Hudson, we had one of the rainiest summers ever. So, what I’m saying is make room for the squash family.


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