In The Beginning…

Let’s see… where should I begin.  I want to point out that today is Day 1.  Day 1 of what you might ask?  Day 1 of my blog!  The transformation project started about 791 days ago.  Be sure to read about our transformation project under “My Story”.  As you can see, my husband and I have been hammering away at (literally) our transformation project list for some time now.  Rather than bore you with the nitty-gritty details of yesterday, so to speak, I’ll bring you up to speed with a brief completed task list (see below).  I’ll also include before and after photos that I think you’ll get a kick out of.  Mind you, the completed task list is not an exhaustive list… the details of it all still makes my head spin.

Anyway, since my blog is about gardening, I’ll put more emphasis on the Garden Task list. I’d also like to point out that my blog is a “work in progress” and the look and feel may change a bit over the next several months – so thank you for being patient with me and allowing me some “artistic elbow room”.  Now on with the topic at hand…

Completed House Task List

  • Restructured and reframed “old garage” conversion (we used the opportunity to redesign it to better fit our needs)
  • Trenched for and poured footings for the already built 780 square foot garage (ouch!)
  • Reframed 780 square foot garage
  • Reframed entire exterior kitchen wall (where the 12” high opening to the outside world existed)
  • All new electrical and plumbing…
  • Items 3,001, 3,002… just kidding… Installed windows, insulation, drywall, blah, blah, blah.  Now let’s move onto the garden  🙂

Completed Garden Task List

  • Filled in ALL trenches and holes in backyard (thank you Mom and Dad for all your help!!!!)
  • Ripped out regulation height basketball rim, backboard and non-functional light (I know there are basketball fans weeping right now across the nation – sorry guys and gals… we needed the space)
  • Removed a gigantic Cypress Tree (about 20’ high), a double California Palm (about 30’ high) and 5 newly planted landscape trees (most of which were invasive species and planted way too close to the house)
  • Removed a dilapidated wooden structure and dead grape-vine
  • Jack-hammered 18 holes – approximately 14”x14” each in the bottom of the pool (this is our future veggie garden site)
  • Ripped out all electrical and plumbing to the pool
  • Designed garden and orchard plan (of course, it’s a “living document” – ever changing)
  • Moved at least 5+ tons of rocks in the front yard so we could dig holes for some of our future fruit trees
  • Dug 16 – 3 feet x 3 feet holes for fruit trees (yippee, our orchard!)
  • Planted 16 fruit trees (oh, happy days)

Now for the “before” photos…

Also, be sure to check out additional photos by scrolling back up to the top of this page and clicking on the “More Photos” link under “Photos” on the right side of the page.

Yes, that is a very large and deep trench just outside our back door.  Oh, and a plank.  “Walk the plank ye matey, aaaarrrr”.  Except, if (or when) you fall off (which we occasionally did), you’d fall into a bunch of prickly weeds, rocks and a big world of hurt.

Also, notice the numerous superfluous holes in the exterior walls.

There’s the big-ole Cypress tree in the corner and the wooden structure and dead grape vines…

… and the basketball court and pool area.  Ba-bye!

This is the front yard.  What’s up with all the rocks you say? It’s a mystery. The large ominous shadow is from the huge double Palm tree planted just near the curb.

Now for the After photos…

Here’s the front yard with the 5+ tons of rock moved away.  And there’s Pinny, our watchful Border Collie keeping an eye on things.  You can also see some of our fruit trees. Awesome!

All fixed up and safe!  May be far from pretty, but it sure is functional.

In my future updates, I’ll try to follow a logical step-by-step process to make it easy for you to tag along and make sense of things.  My goal is to make it as easy and informative as possible for you.  Something you might find to be a great resource of information and inspiration to you as you plan and execute your vegetable and fruit tree garden.  Oh, and please let me know if you’d like to see a specific gardening topic covered. I’m always happy to help out.

Next Topic: Step 1 – Planning The Orchard

If you haven’t done so already, be sure to read “My Story” so you can learn more about our transformation project and get to know a little bit more about me.  Thanks for stopping by.

May your day abound with blessings!

the Artistic Desert Gardener


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