Hubby and I moved to the High Desert in the early 80’s making Hesperia our home, later moving to Phelan. Then we moved across country to North Carolina in 2011 for a year. We missed our family so much we returned to the land of Sunshine and Blue skies. Recently making our home in Lucerne Valley, Ca.
Our home is located on what one might call a five-acre blank canvas, as it has no landscape. The front half of the property was void of any plants except a few Russian Thistles (aka tumble weeds) and a Creosote bush or two. The back half has many more Creosote bushes, lots of tumble weeds and three beautiful Joshua trees. Our neighbor said they are about 200 years old. There is a small back yard consisting of two Ornamental Plum trees. One of which was chewed off at the trunk at about 2 foot. Both looked sickly and really should have been removed. However, they are improving and seem to be doing somewhat better.
Our first project was to establish our wish list. Wish list meant Pine trees around the entire acreage to serve as a windbreak, with some shade trees and of course fruit trees. Roses, honey suckle, jasmine as well as some grape vines, black and raspberry bushes, a flower bed, ornamental bushes, and last but not least a vegetable garden. Oh I almost forgot ~ we also envisioned a small patch of green grass, aka a lawn, in the back yard.
However, our reality list will be so much more conservative. We will be concentrating on the front half of our property for now. Our property is surrounded on three sides by dirt roads and one really nice neighbor to the west. So that adds another dilemma to overcome. Although, we want to concentrate on using drought tolerant plants as much as possible in our landscaping, our goal is to be able to dual purpose our plants too.
Our plan begins with Pine trees – they will become a windbreak from the hot desert winds. Protecting our house, out buildings as well as our fruit trees. The trees will also help reduce temperatures by forming microclimates. The fruit trees will provide both fruit and shade. They will also assist in giving us some privacy as well. Vines planted to grow on our chain link fence, combined with near bushes and trees will provide some much needed privacy.
In addition we are planning two vegetable gardens divided by our chicken coop and yard. The plan is to alternate their use annually to enable the gardens to rest a year while the chickens pick them clean and deposit their manure while they work. Chicken labor is much cheaper then back labor. So far we’ve planted a few pines, some gifted fruit trees, apples and cherries, and an ornamental or two. We’ve already started getting our vegetable garden ready for spring planting.