The Gully Behind The House

The gully behind the house was originally filled with Eucalyptus globulus, a mix of seedlings and survivors of the 1967 wildfire that burned this area--the original large trees were burnt, but some of them survived to sprout new trunks. Burnt and dead stumps also remained as a legacy of that fire. Long before our house was built, the trees had been planted as a windbreak for the citrus orchards which blanketed this area in the first half of the Twentieth century. The rich orchard land eventually sprouted houses in place of lemons and limes.

The first picture shows the small wall we built to create a flat area for a vegetable garden. The project was unsuccessful because although we'd had half of the trees removed, the remainder cast dense shade. Not to mention the constant rain of their leaves and twigs, molasses-thick sap, and the long thick strips of bark, like dried-stiff animal pelts, that they shower upon the world.

We were not happy. When the Santa Ana winds blew, they slammed the trees against the house. Full of flammable gummy oils, the Eucalypts were also a serious fire hazard. We were also worried about the flammable nature of those wooden stairs, which we called "the boat dock".



So, bye-bye Blue Gums!


Bye-bye, boat dock!


Hello terraces and a big wide staircase! We recycled the blocks of the failed vegetable garden wall as the treds of the stairway. I added roses, Phormium, a Mexican lime tree, and a place to sit and enjoy it:


The plants have filled in, and the little lime tree is producing flavorful small fruits. I squeeze one into a glass of ice water and sit under the pergola and listen to the birds in the neighbor's Eucalyptus trees.


Comments

  1. Beautiful. Those cypresses really are perfect where you placed them.
    Renee

    ReplyDelete
  2. Such a beautiful green oasis you have created, I love the terraces and the stone steps. The view must be really lovely from the house.
    xoxoxo ♡

    ReplyDelete

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