Landscape and Irrigation
After we moved back in to the house, we did some quick landscaping, just so we didn’t have a mud puddle in our back yard. It wasn’t intended to be permanent. Once again, my wish to “just have one timer box” led to a bigger project.
In 2008, we finally got to revamping the landscaping and irrigation. Working with Dave Bakke and Dave Romeri, we came up with a plan that gave us more zones/circuits which better fit the shape and size of the landscaping, as well as changing a moderate amount of the overall layout. The key points: we cut back on the lawn around all of the trees (they don’t like the same amount of water, and don’t like it on the trunk), we put in a french drain system (which got rid of the soggy spots both front and back), and we put in a 24 channel timer with the option for remote control.
We had some lucky bonuses in the process. We got a new mainline to the house, and when they were doing testing, Dave R called the water company because he thought there was a problem with our (1950 era) water meter. The rep from San Jose Water replaced it then and there, and our water pressure was significantly improved. We put in a shutoff for the irrigation that doesn’t affect the house and one for the house that doesn’t affect the irrigation.
Woodpecker Arborist (Brian McGovern) came and did serious trimming on all of the trees, although the magnolia and plum trees clearly needed more than could safely be done with one round of trimming. We added some low-voltage lights along the front and side-yard walkways, adding a brick edge to the front walking and totally redoing the side yard and parking strip with pavers.
Of course, we wish we’d done a few things differently. Most importantly, we should have planned the overall landscaping plan when we did the house plans. But it’s a great yard for entertaining, and the various visiting dogs all love it.