Friday, March 18, 2022

Gone Native!

 In 2021 we undertook a sizable project tearing out our front yard and reconcepting it as a native garden.  We have a small front yard of about 800 square feet.  The purpose of the project was to simplify, beautify and reduce water consumption.

The garden really leapt to life and has grown in quite a bit since planting in December of 2021.  We saw the rock swales flood a couple of times this winter which diverts less water into the storm drains.  We continue to water these plants for good root development and expect to be able to cut back on watering later this year once they're established.

We did this project using the Long Beach Lawn2Garden program, and I would recommend it to anyone looking to convert lawn to garden.  The process was straightforward and we experienced no challenges with the process.  

We kept the plant list to plan with few exceptions.  A full list of the plants used can be found here.

Monday, March 14, 2022

Mixed Bag 'o' Projects

 Been some time since we last posted.  Here are a few projects we've been working on:

First, for fun - the catio/passthrough!  We have this single old casement window that was retrofitted into our sunroom windows.  This window proved difficult because it opens out and therefore requires an interior screen.  After two years of considering what to do, we built a custom catio/passthrough!  The passthrough function allows us to pass through kitchen supplies and dishes between the indoor kitchen and our outside kitchen and dining area.  We do quite a bit of outdoor dining and this will get used quite a bit when we host parties.  In addition, it serves as a cat-patio for our two indoor cats.  So far, the cats seem quite pleased with the results!

Not quite as fun, but still rewarding is the restoration of our dining room window sashes.  We are taking them back down to raw wood and glazing/repairing where required.  These redwood original window sashes are in surprisingly good condition considering the 108 years of south facing weather they've received.  This is our first foray into window repair and we've learned a lot already.  Digging into this project, we learned that most of our interior windows are double hung.  We're going to give it a go and restore some of the upper sash window movement as we progress.

Lastly, we've enjoyed spending time in our garden and seeing the hard work from prior years pay off.  Spring has sprung in Southern California!  More garden photos to come throughout the 2022 growing/gardening season.

The focus this year is the completion of paint stripping and wood working/restoration efforts in our dining room.  Late last year we received the stain matching products from Daly's based out of the Pacific Northwest.  We have work to do to custom tint the shellac to try and replicate the luster this house was built with.  No chance of getting bored anytime soon.