As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m refocusing this blog for the time being on our xeriscaping efforts. Because there’s nothing better to take your mind off a painful 2ww than contemplating chronic drought conditions brought on by climate change.

R. and I have decided that we are going to start with the spot in our yard that is really intractable: the spot between the A/C unit and the fence, where there is no gate and the only way back there is to squeeze into this narrow overgrown spot with really long weeds and maybe snakes and grasshoppers flying up your nose (Does anybody else have that specific bug fear? That they’ll fly up your nose? I do.) and the lawnmower is not getting back there unless I somehow find a way to lift the thing over my head, and that was not in the 2ww instructions but I think my RE would rather I didn’t. I have previously gone at this spot with a weed whacker, but that was irritating in its own way.

Therefore? Let’s take out the grass. Here’s the embarrassing part of our yard that nobody but the neighbor’s dog* ever sees:

yard before ac unit small

It’s about 5 x 5 ft. (That’s a little under 2 x 2 m for you non-American types.) We’ve decided we’re going to rip up the grass and then put down a layer of newspaper to prevent weeds from taking up residence (more environmentally friendly than plastic tarp but perhaps less effective, I’ll let you know), and then plant a nice aloe plant in that spot.

Like this, maybe? But just one, not a whole bunch.

aloe example(Image used with thanks from this French site that sells plants.)

It’s a good starting place, and it will give us some good practice at getting a drought-resistant plant established in a place where nobody will know if we kill it accidentally.

How big an aloe plant do you think we should try? Do you think it’s worth it to stick some smaller satellite plants around it, for ground cover? Or should we be planting something tall there to provide some shade to the house instead?

* The neighbor’s dog is adorable and is really good at sneaking through our fence. R. tells me every time not to play with the dog because then he’ll want to crawl through again and again to get more play time with the Person Who Will Throw Sticks for Him To Pick Up (that’s me), and he’s totally right, but guys, this is such a cute little fluffy dog. He picks up sticks and brings them back to you in the MOST adorable manner.