Slope Project 2013, Long Delayed.

This slope is a mess.  It was on the long list of to-dos I posted last December, most of which are accomplished.
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The sad Agonis came out of that area at the far right.  Something really wrong with it--crown gall?  Strangled roots?  What is that horrible deformed lump atop the crown? 
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It didn't have much of a root system, even after several years in the spot.
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I replaced it with a dwarf mandarin, (barely visible in the panoramic photo on the right hand side) which will stay under 10' (3 M) tall.
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The three orange trees will stay (the fruit is delicious!); everything else will come out...except a 'Crepuscule' rose, and the Agave which I simply won't be able to move.  It should bloom soon, anyway.  The Yuccas will be a horror to get out. They're beautiful but..I want a more unified look, a tapestry of sorts.  One of the Yucca has a smallish offset--I'll save that if I can.  The first thing is to get enough stepping-blocks installed up there so that I can safely walk around and maintain the area.

This is going to hurt.  Actually it's hurting already.  Those blocks weigh 62 lbs each and it's an ordeal for me to get them up there and get spots on the slope carved out for a secure placement.  Owwwwwwww!  I've been working at it off and on again, on any day it's cool enough to be wrestling 62 lb blocks up a slope.  We're expecting a few cool days this week, I may be able to get most of them up there and in place. 

When we first moved to this home and had a blank slate and worked with a landscape architect and decided on citrus trees for this slope, I asked about a walkable stairway/path to each tree.  The LA brushed me off with a curt "It's not steep, you won't need it." comment that shut me up.
No path needed?  Then why am I sliding? 
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Now I know better;  back then I was easily silenced.  So now I'm fixing it, not in a pretty way, but I don't want to be sliding around up there anymore.
Solid ground:
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It's a long drop onto hard concrete, and I might fall on a dog. 
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Stairway to citrus:
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I'm making a safe place to stand to trim the neighbor's hedge:
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And it's nice to be standing on something solid when taking a look at the view (Yikes, only May 5th and it looks like August it's so brown!)
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So stepping blocks, pretty or not, will be where they need to be, and the plants will all come later.  In the meantime, the oranges are delicious!
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Comments

  1. Slopes are a crime to deal with. It's hard work to install these heavy blocks with your high temperatures, but I envy your orange trees, such fun to pick your own oranges.

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    Replies
    1. I treasure the oranges, and feel so fortunate to be able to grow them!

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  2. It will all look so lovely dear Hoover, how wondeful to grow your own citrus trees, shiny green foliage, fragrant blossoms and delicous fruit.
    What a view, yes you need a safe, solid place to access the slope and enjoy the view.
    xoxoxo ♡

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    Replies
    1. The fragrance of the orange blossoms is more beautiful even than roses. Nothing is quite as good.

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  3. Nice slope "bones" plantings to work around; the panorama view helps me to visualize it. This will be fun, at least for us readers!

    Hopefully that LA set a good framework, though dismissing the obvious. Few LA's know much about physical geography, plants, sense-of-place, etc - all should have to do time, including dirt under fingernails!

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    Replies
    1. Dirt under the fingernails or fifty lashes with a palm frond!

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  4. That is some project. I always thing slopes add so much to a garden, but seeing the work involved, I am pleased my garden is as flat as anything.

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    Replies
    1. Having gardened on both, I really appreciate slopes for xeric plants. One thing I never have to worry about is good drainage.

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  5. That's no trifling project, Hoover. I don't wonder you put it off. 62 lb. blocks sound quite daunting to wrangle, especially in your warmer weather. Glad the oranges are delicious and that you've added the mandarin: What a joy to be able to grow (then eat) your own citrus!

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  6. Good move on the steps. Envious of your orange trees, I can imagine the scent when they are blooming.

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    Replies
    1. Yes the scent is almost the best part!

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  7. That is very hard work. I love slopes but I can see the advantages of having my flat garden!

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    Replies
    1. It's always a trade-off, some good things come with bad things, and vise-versa.

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  8. The double concrete blocks are a great idea! We used similar concrete blocks on our own slope but singly. Doubling them up would definitely improve their functionality, especially given the stability problem I have with one dicey knee. However, I'm not sure how my husband will respond to a request to beef up the existing stairway as he installed the original blocks for me and that meant digging into hard, rocky soil, as well as carrying those suckers a long way. I'm not sure batting my eyes will be sufficient...

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    Replies
    1. I have some singles up there too and will double them up, it just seems much safer. Batting your eyes, lol! Maybe as a birthday/Christmas present?

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