An added bonus to the gravel is that it makes it harder for a rattlesnake to sneak up on me!
So I got the pick and shovel out and dug some holes. I ordered a dump truck load of the same gravel we used for the outdoor kitchen area and the walkway to the bunkhouse. I moved the plants, mixing some leaf mulch in with the dirt. I removed most of the rocks that surrounded my planting beds, leaving only a few for accents.
I had enough of the gravel to cover the area in front of the bunkhouse and to make a walkway on the side of it. I was even able to put a little up under the bunkhouse porch! I also surrounded the yuccas and rosemary plants in the middle of the driveway with the gravel. By the cabin where the plants are I put cardboard under the gravel and it's several inches deep so I shouldn't have a problem with weeds. Under the cardboard I have leaf mulch, hoping this and the cardboard will improve and cool the soil.
The small birds love this little star cut into this stone. I fill it with water when I water the plants and they come take a bath in it, though they barely fit! Every thing loves a bath, especially out here in dry country. I scooped up some native horsemint that was coming up by the steps and put it in the bucket. It's a beautiful wildflower and I hope it grows.
The weather forecast for the upcoming year shows the drought across the western US only continuing. We are off to a bad start here. I'm trying to resign myself to living with that. As we say all the time, "it is what it is." Some day, but not in my lifetime, our country may wake up to the fact that we need more water in the west and less in the east, and devise a method to move it. If we want to continue to grow our own food, both plant and animal, we need to do something. No matter what you think the cause of climate change is, we need to address it and see if we can improve things.
Over time, nature makes her own adjustments. It may be that all the trees out here, both cedar and oak, need to be killed by drought in order to make the land fit the resources. A hundred years ago that was the case, with trees mostly along the draws, creeks, and rivers. It's not likely that all the landowners will be able to manage land to fit the water. People don't always have the time or money needed, and often not the knowledge. We may one day look like the high desert country around Albuquerque and Santa Fe, without the nearby mountains to provide some relief.
I love how it turned out! And even though the rainfall has been a disappointment this Spring, the birds have not been. We've had so many cardinals, finches, cedar waxwings, titmouses, rufus sparrows, flycatchers, wrens, and a beautiful vermilion flycatcher. The birdhouses have birds going in and out feeding the babies. The turkeys are back and the gobblers are showing off. A few peach blooms have survived, the potatoes are up, and the poppies and larkspurs are growing.
"We are living on this planet as if we had another one to go to." Climate Silence