I have recently started the experiment of transforming a Bermuda grass wasteland into a sanctuary of sorts.
Background: I set down roots in August 2004 in a part of Los Angeles referred to as “Mid City” on a property with a fairly large lot size for Los Angeles. For the first five years, I would hope that visitors would not wander far enough into the backyard to see my Bermuda grass wasteland, which was, alternatingly, yellow in the summer and waist-high in the winter. My double-fold excuse was always that (1) I had no time; and (2) all vegetation withered under my care. My daughter could tell you the story of the time she left her strawberries in my care for two weeks and came back to find withered brown leaves. I could also tell you about the time I killed an ivy given to me by a friend.
A change in circumstances, however, brought me to the wasteland when comfort herself called from the soil. A garden has grown out of grief, as well as the desire to document the seasons. Unfortunately, I did not take pictures of “before” but I did find one photo of a small piece of the backyard documenting my attempt to keep our kitty content indoors.
- Zone 10;
- Sunset Climate Zone 22;
- “Mid City” in Los Angeles (90016);
- Average first frost – December 8th;
- Average last frost – February 11th;
- Soil type – clay;
- Most common gardening method – square foot gardening;
- Greatest challenge – abominable Bermuda grass.