Restoration, or the three Rs

When he returns from his vacation, Seth the nurseryman will send his crew to my house to complete the work begun before I left for CA. Mostly, this involves redoing the gravelled area out back at the edge of the patio now turned screened porch. I keep many pots there and want the guys to install a weed barrier under the pebbles. This requires ripping out the old stuff and laying the weed barrier fabric, reinstalling the pebbles and replacing the pots…the three Rs. 

The area is bounded with a brick walk on two sides, the heat pump on a third, and the south-facing wall of the house. It has full sunlight until about noon and then filtered light most of the rest of the day. It is one of the warmest spots in my yard during the summer and winter months, second only to the long brick walk along the driveway where I grow chile peppers most years.

Like the tavern in El Sombrero de Tres Picos by Pedro Antonio de Alarcón y Ariza (three-cornered hat), our patio turned porch is shaded by a climbing rose-bush in summer, then open to the full daylight in winter when the rose-bush loses its leaves.

I have placed many pots around this area and filled them with plants that love warm weather and can survive our winters in a warm spot.  To make more room, I asked the nursery crew to haul away several containers of mint which I never let escape into my yard lest it overtake it (nothing kills mint). The remaining pots house plants that love dry warm spots, such as Heliotrope, Pomegranate, Rosemary and French Lavender. 

When I visited the San Diego Botanic Gardens recently, I noted many of plants in the children’s garden I have tried to grow.  The Gardens boasted an alphabet of potted plants, i.e.,”H” is for heliotrope. Thus, I had an AHA moment.

I grew my first heliotrope this past summer and almost killed it with water.  I saw that the plants in the San Diego children’s garden were in pots, kept dry and could survive semi-desert conditions.

After Seth hauled the mint plants away, I moved my large Cretan pot with the Heliotrope next to the house…the warmest dryest spot in my yard. It looks shabby now, but I have high hopes for it in its new soon to be improved setting.  Here are some photos of the pathetic little plant I have very nearly killed.  Being the optimistic gardener, I know it will return to life next year. Meanwhile, if needs be, I will cover it during the coldest spells of winter.  (Right: what it should look like in bloom.)

5 thoughts on “Restoration, or the three Rs

  1. Excellent description of your improvement project. The photos helped a lot in understanding the nuances of the changes. Sure wish we were that far along with gardening, but we’re hoping to get there some day.


  2. I’m gonna be jealous of your weed barrier. We have a graveled parking spot, plus a front walk, that could use those three R’s. But, omg, it’s trop cher!

    BTW, did you see my response to your complaint about the robot blocker? Like I said, I “feel your pain.” I’ve had the same problem when commenting on some other blogs, so I disabled the no-robot function on my blog a few weeks ago. But I was inundated with spam comments, many in foreign languages. It was a real pain; plus, I worried that some rogue spam would get through and mess up my computer. So I reinstated the blocker, and until they come up with something better, I think I have to stick with this admittedly annoying procedure. All I can say is, sorry you have to put up with it, and many thanks for persevering and posting your comments.


  3. I love your plans for your garden and yard. Very interesting. Hubby discarded our 3 potted palm trees and 5 hanging ferns, because we are going on a 2 week trip and we don’t want to impose on anyone to water them. Ferns need to be watered daily, which would be a hassle. We’ll buy new plants before our Thanksgiving party.


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