Some weeks ago, Julian and I did an open garden tour, in which people open up their yards and gardens to the public, ones that feature California Native plants.
I made sure Julian stayed on walkways, but at one place, a kind lady pointed out a big rock to him. "See that rock there? We put that there for my granddaughter, who's just about your age. It's a kid rock. Go ahead, play on it!" And he did. Who knew a big old boulder rock could be such fun.
And now, we have our own rocks in our landscape. Julian immediately called them "kid-rocks," though none of them are really big enough to qualify, but that didn't stop him and his siblings from climbing on them.
They're more than fun, they're very very eye-catching, since they introduce new levels and texture to the landscape. I love looking at them.
In order not to interfere with the flow of the project, nor to introduce any contract/pricing complications, I'm keeping my custom requests to a minimum. This includes the plants, which on the whole are not as California-native-y as I'd like. For matters of function, like screening our neighbor's clothesline, I do make direct requests, but for a general planting area, I'm giving the designer free rein.
After all, there's a reason we have a professional doing this -- because I don't know anything. I might even develop a fondness for the flax plants (the spiky purply plants, like the one behind the far boulder in the photo below), that I'm overall not crazy about.
But what a fun problem to have, after so many years of a rough, barely-controlled, eyesore of a yard. "Hmm, I think I'd like a sticky monkey flower there!" And I have a place to go plant one, that's irrigated and isn't surrounded by major projects staring at me from every angle.
Our landscaping is still a long ways off from done, but having so much less darned lawn (in fact none at all right now), gives the kids so so much more to do. Julian and Katrina spent quite a bit of time sweeping under the future arbor last weekend.
And Gabriel, never the gushiest of people in the world, does a lot of gazing out the window now at the variety of plantlife and trees. "This landscaping is really pretty Mom!"
Still, I think we need to find a spot for a nice big kid-rock.