Home improvement projects can run the gamut, from multi-year custom home builds and yard projects to by the minute concrete pours. This week we are revisiting a concrete pour and taking a look at nearly 10 years worth of growth in a previous front yard project, specifically very slow growing succulents.
The above picture shows the final stages of leveling dirt for the concrete to come in. The project to this point was 3 months in the making. From conception and design, it moved to demolition. After the yard was a blank canvas, the drainage and irrigation was mapped and started. The footings for all of the retaining walls were dug and poured. Walls were built, then drainage tied in. Lastly was leveling the dirt for the slabs and building forms for the stairs.
In one day: 20 yards of concrete came in. This really brought the project to a sense of completeness. It would still be another 6 weeks to finalize the loose ends. Installing the sprinklers, caulking the slabs, painting the stucco to match the house… All before planting would even begin! Start of construction to the first party in the new backyard was 10 months. It was well worth the effort.
These aloe trees (Aloe Barberae) were purchased in 15 gallon pots, one size down from a 24″ box. They become cost prohibitive to buy when they are mature, and can range from $500 to $5000 depending on size and the number of branches. The nursery we sourced these from was clearing out inventory, and didn’t want to move these to larger containers. Our gain! Slightly more mature trees with one fork were selling for triple the price, so the budgetary decision was made to buy smaller and wait for the growth. How long of a wait you ask? Aloe trees can take a century to reach full maturity, so this project is in it for the long haul.
Nine years and nine months later, appreciable growth has taken place. The plus side is specimens like these aloes need virtually no maintenance. The other one gallon plants have nearly devoured the front yard as well. An old adage when planting: first they sleep, then they creep, and then they leap. It is nice to see the current owners enjoying the “leap” phase of growth.