I started clearing the hill last week. It made me a little sad to do it while the grass was still green but I didn't want to leave it until the last minute like I usually do. It was also cool and breezy so it was a perfect time to pull out the weed whacker.
I also needed to clean up some of the trees above the house. I don't know what these are and I think they are pretty ugly but I'm stuck with them for the time being. Some of the branches bent over in our last wind storm and never stood back up so I cut them off.
Once I got started it was hard to stop. I ended up taking off all of the branches below about eight feet. It actually makes them look like trees rather than bushes and opens up the view a little.
One of the things that I don't like about these trees is that they send out new growth at the base of the trunk and then the inner trunks die.
It creates a gnarly candelabra of dead wood. Charming. I cut out all the dead trunks, some of which were 25 feet tall.
After the trees were taken care of you could see the path that leads the other side of the yard. Or, well, you could see where the path used to be. It was now almost totally blocked by the pomegranate bush at the top and jade plants on the bottom.
The pomegranate gets blooms in the spring but I've never seen any fruit on it. This thing would probably benefit from a severe pruning as well but I just don't have it in me right now. Maybe next year.
Now it actually looks like a path again. Kind of romantic.
For now, all it leads to is a giant half dead peach tree and a couple of citrus trees.
I'm hoping one day that I can build a little garden shed hidden under the pepper and walnut trees.
Some critters would prefer that side of the yard remain a secret. I uncovered this sleepy lizard as I was clearing out jade plants. It's much bigger than the Western Fence Lizards I usually see and has more distinctive markings. I'll try to figure out what it is.
I slowly made my way up the hill. The staircase I made last year was almost invisible. It was more like a tiered garden for grass and oxalis.
I tried to leave some of the oxalis because it looks cute when it's in bloom but it will be drying up soon.
The hill above the chicken coop is looking pretty spectacular right now.
I hate to mess it up but if I waited much longer it would have been 90 degrees when I went out to do it.
It looks so ugly now but I left the lupine bushes at the top. They've been getting bigger every year and seem to do better as they get more established. It makes me wonder what blue bonnets would do if I planted some.