Turning the backyard into an orchard

By
Real Estate Agent with Alain Pinel BRE 01367196

When we bought our place in Alameda, CA, the backyard was full of construction debris, and was very uneven. 

The only living thing in the back yard was a tall plum tree which looked dead and ugly. Gary explained that it was simply getting ready for winter and that it would come back in the spring. Harummmpf, I thought to myself. That tree is dead, and we have to take it down! At that time,the most important item on my wish list was to have a fenced in yard where it will be safe to have dogs. But first, we have to rid the yard of all the debris and rusty nails and broken glass before we would have our dogs go there.

 

GROW FRUITS, NOT LAWNS

It took years, but we leveled the ground and then planted fruit trees. Much to our delight, our soil is so fertile -- very dark like loam with lots of working worms. And that grass? It just grew once we removed all the debris. And now, this is the perfect spot for a backyard party!

 

 The first fruit trees were planted in 2007. The Lisbon, Meyer and Ponderosa lemon trees surprised us the most, by starting to bear fruit when they were barely three feet tall.  My father organized family members to plant fruit trees in the backyard. And soon, we had avocado, fig, pineapple guava, two kinds of persimmons, mandarin orange

We are not nearly done as we have added Asian pear trees. And we have one peach tree grafted with three kinds of peaches that we are getting ready to plant.  We are debating whether to plant the variegated calamondin or to keep it in a container. 

 

FLOWERS, TOO

Later, we also added flowering bushes --- the longest lasting and the healthiest are the Liies of the Nile (Agapanthus). As a matter of fact, I probably should dig them up and subdivide them.  Coreopsis grew into tall bushes which I have cropped Bonsai style. Birds of Paradise are prolific bloomers, and so are Canna lilies.  And it seems that Tibouchina bloomed year round. There is never a time when we didn't have flowers plucked from our own yard.

 

ADD VEGETABLES AND  HERBS

We have since added two vegetable garden boxes. They're still in the sprouting stage, but it gives us a thril to watch the vegetables and herbs grow.

And that ugly plum tree? It is absolutely glorious with white flowers that look like snow in the spring. It produces tons of plums that are absolutely the sweetest plums we've ever eaten.  We reap something for every season. Lemons year round. Plums, pineapple guavas, mandarin oranges and figs in the summer. Avocados and persimmons in the fall. 

 

This is our oasis....

   

  

              

   

 

  

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Tags:
green space
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alameda backyard front yard growers
backyard gardening
backyard growers
fruits and flower garden
alameda garden
grow food not lawn
alameda soil is fertile
growing fruits and vegetables in our yard

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Rainmaker
1,449,739
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
Realty National - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Pacita Dimacali You and your hard working husband did a first class job at turning that backyard around. It is now a beautiful oasis. Lucky you...and him!

Apr 12, 2015 09:58 AM #1
Rainmaker
709,142
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Sandy and Norm ---- we do try. And living in our island is like a vacation anyway. Just going out the backyard gives us so much joy.

Apr 12, 2015 10:15 AM #2
Rainmaker
2,232,053
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

What a huge difference that is, Pacita!  I just came in from hauling gray water out to my vegetable garden, and other plants.  I am proud of my yard too, and am hopeful this California drought will end at some point.

Apr 12, 2015 10:26 AM #3
Rainmaker
709,142
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Hi, Myrl! 

The drought is certainly taking its toll. I am meeting with someone next week to have a gray water system to collect washing machine water and use for the yard. We let our grass grow high, and also mow them high to keep the moisture longer. It must work because we haven't watered our grass which seems to live off the morning dew. 

 

Apr 12, 2015 10:46 AM #4
Rainmaker
2,639,887
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Pacita, Absolutely beautiful. Your backyard is the perfect place for anything ... including a party.

Apr 12, 2015 10:54 AM #5
Rainmaker
878,050
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

It looks like some thing we all enjoy if we can get water in CA...

Apr 12, 2015 11:02 AM #6
Rainmaker
709,142
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Kathleen --- thanks. We have our family get togethers here, and they all seem to enjoy the backyard.

Sam ---I am in California. The fruit trees we selected are quite drought tolerant. It also helps that we get a lot of shade from the plum tree which helps the greenery keep their moisture. We have low temperaturs late night and early morning, so the dew helps, too.

 

Apr 12, 2015 11:37 AM #7
Rainmaker
769,639
Troy Erickson
Diverse Solutions Realty www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Pacita - Wow, you have done an amazing job on your yard. It is absolutely beautiful.

Apr 12, 2015 12:53 PM #8
Rainmaker
709,142
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

Troy, 

Thanks. It's a work in progress. I am looking for a good spot for the peach tree. Gary doesn't want them too close together because he said they will get bigger and crowd each other. Told him we'll be long gone before they get as big as he is thinking. Besides, we can always trim branches.

 

Apr 12, 2015 01:04 PM #9
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Pacita Dimacali

Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA
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