Thinking about Landscaping

July 4

What?! It is the Fourth of July and I am up on the mountain thinking about landscaping??! You are shaking your head, I am sure, but yes. One of the side effects of being retired is that holidays kind of lose their specialness. Hey, every day is a holiday for me now. Ha ha. And since I only know about 3 people in Alpine and they’ve all got holiday plans, I am on my own with my tribe of Bella and Niles. What do we do? Head up to the building site and scope things out. And dream a little bit.


The patio door/window combo is installed! It is wonderful, as you will see.

Steve has noted that there are surplus materials available. Lots of unused wood and some adobe blocks. He asked me if there were anything else I would like him to build. I was caught without an answer! That question of his made me to think of another question: what kinds of plants and trees and shrubs should be included in the landscaping that will be necessary once the house is completed? What would work up here on this windy mountain?

These questions led me to buy a couple of books, being a librarian (ret.) as I am:


The first book by the Powells is apparently a classic but the pictures are all in black and white. Bah! The second book by the Wasowskis has great color photos but it covers every region in Texas. So between the two books, I think I have some good guides to plants (and trees!) that will work up here. The books also provide real landscaping designs that I can use as a starting point. This is a very long term project, of course, and is constrained by finances and the state of my back. However, now is as good a time as any to start planning–or at least dreaming!

And IF I were to ask Steve to build me one more thing, what would it be??? Please comment. You may have an idea I have not dreamed of yet. One caveat: part of the passive solar plan involves NOT shading the South (or back) side of the house, so putting a covering over the patios is out. Other than that, what do you think?

Open up the BIG Gallery to see everything BIGGER!


Since the Jeep is still a bit rattled, I choose the old walk for today. It is not far and if I take Cemetery Road (yes, that’s right) home, I don’t have to go over 30 miles an hour. The raspy/clangy/whiney sound seems to happen at 35mph. This is called “rationalization.” We do meet some cows on the old road but Niles ignores them and Bella pays attention to me, so it all works out. Today, though, we climb a big hill off of the road for the first time and that is special. And of course everything I see today becomes something I might consider for “the landscaping project.” I have a lot to learn, but I’ve also learned a lot in the past few months. I want the new house to grow up out of the ground, which it does, and be part of everything around it, which it also is, even though there are bare spots. I just need to find the perfect things to fill in the bare spots.

4 thoughts on “Thinking about Landscaping

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