welcome to the organic green doctor blog

i am a family physician who was diagnosed with
early mild cognitive impairment(mci) amnestic type on december 21, 2010
this is a precursor to alzheimers disease
because of this diagnosis i have opted to stop practicing medicine
this blog will be about my journey with this disease
please feel free to follow me along this path
i will continue blogging on organic gardening, green living,
solar power, rainwater collection, and healthy living
i will blog on these plus other things noted to be interesting

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

new house new yard new owner


this is the second year that ive helped with the
williamson county habitat for humanity home builds

since ive ruptured my disk and am still in recovery mode
ive been limiting what i do when it comes to heavy lifting
and ladder work
but have continued to do the landscaping since i can do that
without doing a lot of lifting since i get help with some of that
with my wife shes help and with other volunteers who help

this house we just finished will be owned by a mom with
four kids who is the first ever homeowner in her family
she and her family are quite proud of her
she and her family put in a lot of hours helping build this place
will get the home at 0% loan for 20 years at about half the price
the house would sell for
since the materials and labor are donated mostly

when the final calculations are done
its as cheap to have this house then it is to rent an apartment
or house in this area
where those rates are starting to escalate a lot

for this house  i talked to the home owner who wanted
to do the yard as low maintenance as possible
especially saving on grass and its care

since the budget is limited i try to be creative and use
whatever is available from the build like left over broken
concrete left over limestone bricks left over landscape timbers
soil and sand that are left over from the slab build and the
driveway build
this dirt and sand are scattered and leveled around the place
since most of these sights dont have much soil

for this sight lucky for the home owner
a friend db/kb had planted 4 large arizona cypress that the
hoa you know those guys right the hoa
said those arent central texas native so they had to remove them
after they had recently planted them around their new home
when they had them dug up i then transplanted them to the back of the
property along the property line

the new owner plans to put up a privacy fence also
good thing as the deer have taken a liking to the first tree on the
right and has been rutting it a lot

a local nursery mcintires nursery in georgetown has given me trees
to use
ones that they were going to discard
ive kept them at the country n and resuscitated them
i planted 6 nellie stevens hollies along both sides of the back yard
to provide a nice visual break for the owner when they reach
their height of about 15 ft

on the right front corner of the house a beautiful weeping yaupon holly
was planted that will not get too much taller but should
fill in nicely with its drooping limbs and red berries

4 dwarf yaupon hollies that will get 3-4 ft wide and tall were
planted in the front bed on the right
these were bought very cheap from an wholesale nursery that gives
me a big discount on plants since they are used in the habitat for humanity

on the left side a viburnum spring blossom was planted in an area
that was heavily mulched
this viburnum will gow 6-8 ft x 8 ft and will actually fill up this space
and block the view of all the electrical boxes

a spineless cactus from the country n was placed as shown
in the first picture surrounded by crushed limestone bricks
it will grow to 6 ft x 10 ft
no watering or care needed

the area around the live oak was heavily mulched with
texas native hardwood mulch at about 3 inches over a
layer of cardboard to suppress weed growth
this cardboard will soon disappear over time
the temperature of the soil in the summer around this tree
will be a lot less and will be warmer in the winter
the mulch will also hold a great deal of water and keep it on
the property

on both sides of the front yard river rock was brought in and placed
over thick black plastic to keep grass and weeds from growing

the new homeowner will be putting decorative containers in this area
we also placed some blocks of concrete that look like native rock
leftover from construction

also concrete rock was used to line the mulch beds and left over
limestone bricks were used to line the front bed on the right

the area that was to have sod laid had an inch or more of landscape mix
of dirt and compost placed before the bermuda sod was laid

because of the beds and mulching we eliminated over 50% of the grass
and it will not ever have to be watered fertilized mowed or cared for

in the back 2/3 of the backyard the thunder turf from native american seed
was seeded
its made up of the native grasses buffalo blue gramma  and curly mesquite

once established it doesnt need care unless the homeowner wants to
no watering no mowing no fertilizing
it goes dormant when its dry but comes back to life when it rains
i have this planted at the country n around my barn and in my yard
its the grass that use to be here in this area before we destroyed it
you know when the buffalo use to come around

also in the back yard i made small berms of soil across the yard that
will slow down the flow of water as it runs off the house
to help keep the water on the property
the rock and mulch in the beds around the trees there will do the
i also have placed a row of rock on the lower part of the yard
that the homeowner will move against her fence that will also
slowed down the water flow
this will make her backyard native grass do much better and also
the trees

so what we have for this homeowner is a xeric yard
none of the plants or the native grasses will need any care once
they are established well after a year or two
saving her a lot of water and expense

sure hated to put down that bermuda but its a compromise we made

lets all do this xeriscaping stuff at our house

the organicgreen gardener

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