Sunday, April 26, 2015

Building a Backyard from Scratch: The Prickliest Friends I Ever Met!

All week, Brendan and I were looking forward to Saturday so we could pick up some Agave cacti and continue our xeriscaping backyard version. The big day arrived, and we headed to a local nursery and found a huge Agave...for $150.00. Back to the drawing board...we needed some smaller specimens that better fit our budget.

Luckily we ran into Nick and Brandon, and Brandon happens to be extremely knowledgable about succulents!

We developed a new budget conscious strategy...

Three tiny succulents for around the Mexican Ocotillo that we planted last weekend (center).

This cactus is like a sister plant to red yucca...should be useful in our goal to attract birds, bees, and butterflies. 

These four were the big purchases. As you can see, we did get one Agave (center), but it was a lot smaller and only cost $24.99. We got a barrel cactus that already had some bird of paradise growing on it (bonus!) and a cactus that had a few miniature barrels. The cactus in the far left corner was perhaps the best purchase of all because it had several off shoots growing at the bottom, so we were able to separate the roots and plant the "babies" elsewhere: 

Also at the nursery, we noticed some prickly pears had dropped some pads on the ground. If you plant these, root down, Brandon told us, you should be able to produce your own prickly pears. Added bonus, the pads were free. 

We planted three: 

Lets hope they eventually root and grow. Remember when planting cactus to WEAR GLOVES. These friends are prickly, and I got jabbed a few times even through the gloves. Total cost of all our prickly friends: $170.00. Far better than paying $150.00 for one plant. We topped the $1,000.00 point in our backyard renovation this weekend...but I'd say we've gotten our money's worth. To see past efforts check out our previous posts: 

After our efforts, Brendan made us mojitos using the sweet mint, spearmint, and peppermint from our very own herb garden. Then I made us pasta for dinner with basil, rosemary, and thyme from the garden. The herbs really added flavor to the meal! 

Then we went to school to host an on campus movie night with the club we advise. We had 20 students come to watch The Great Gatsby (the newer version) on the big screen. Here's the elusive green light on the edge of Daisy's dock: 

The students brought some awesome "themed snacks" 

All in all, an excellent Saturday.

Today is all about getting ready for the last teaching week of the semester...oh my! Grocery store, laundry, cleaning up...and Brendan is out in the yard putting weed guard down on the side yard. Tonight, we'll go over to our friends' house and watch Game of Thrones, which will be a great way to end the week. I am ready to put on my "A" game and make it through the end of the spring semester. This semester has been a challenge because of our move and getting settled, and I'm pretty exhausted, but I know I need another burst of energy.

Here's to finding your motivation!

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