Friday, June 12, 2009

Its about sodding time!!

Well my last post I really haven't had time to stain the privacy screen in the front, which has to be done before we can plant anything there. But I have a really really good excuse. First, May and the first half of June have been insame with work and travel and I have woken up in as many different cities in a 3 week timeframe as I ever have. Part of the new job reality, fun for part of it, tiresome near then end and missing family throughout it all. On the positive side is the travel allows me to catch up with family/friends/colleagues spread out accross the country. Second, other projects have taken much higher priority as spring sprung.

Exhibit A

What the *?(!#)* is that you ask? Well in planning the landscape I knew I wanted to have an irrigation system put in so we wouldn't be constantly chasing a watering schedule to keep the grass green and the fruits/veggies/trees watered. We're just way too busy with work and life for that :)

To accomplish this though we had to tap into the water supply at the main to get enough pressure to feed the various sprinklers. I also knew that despite fairly good water quality in Cupertino, it could be improved by an order of magnitude and in hardness so I decided to put in a whole house filter system at the same time, copying my handy neighbor and incorporating a bypass for the irragation to be unfiltered ;). The structure involves tapping the main and creating a bypass system to put three filters (25 micron + 5 micron + radial carbon) in line to feed the main house. It also had to have shutoff routing in order to change the filters and flush-in new filters. Of course My neighbor Kevin and I chose the hottest day of the year for the project and was sweating copper in 100 degree heat. I still have to build a cover for it, as the filter housings are not sunlight resistant and can crack with age.

This is the left side, which shows the routing from the main water line (we had to cut an opening). It also shows the second part of the project, which involved cutting the other side of the wall to bring a power outlet outside (black box) and to power the sprinkler timer (grey box). Although easier, we found that the power was reversed on the inside outlet. Subsequent tests showed that the contracter installed about half of the new outlets backward and I have to go through the rest of the house now to fix..grrr.

The white pvc is the irrigation tubing with a one-way valve at the main junction and a shutoff for the system downline in case something ever goes bad. The black pvs in the foreground is a downspout (temporary). I will tackle a gutter system project later this summer before the winter rains come.

This two weekend project (still unfinished in repairing the walls) allowed the gardeners to install the irrigation tree and prepare the soil front and back for sod and planting.

And finally...let's say it all together...IT'S ABOUT SODDING TIME!!!

The first two picture are the front yard. We still have to choose plants for in front and behind the tree, and we are planting another tree on the other side of the driveway. We do know that we are putting a rosemary bush in front of the sprinkler valves.

And now the backyard.

To the left in the first picture is where the orange tree is. We'll plant a few more things there along the fenceline and put landscape back around the whole area.

On the right side we already have a fig and a lowquat planted and we're going to put a coral bark japanese maple where the pvc/shovel is in the picture. We'll leave the back corner open for Kiera and some sort of playset. On the left side which the living room looks out upon we're going to put a red-leaf bloodgood japanese maple.

That's it for now - the trees will go in this weekend and I hope to finish patching walls and build a cover for the water filtration system.

Kinda looking like a house we live at now, which brings a smile to us all :)

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