And here's the view after. It's kind of nice to see more of the hillside across the way, but the yard feels pretty exposed now. We spend so much time back there, and I'd prefer a little more privacy--and shade.
To fill the hole, we decided to get a native California tree. This provided a perfect opportunity to visit the Theodore Payne Foundation. Do you know that I have never been there? I know, it's crazy. Theodore Payne is basically my dream nursery, and it's only 20 minutes or so away from my house. I have been meaning to visit for ages, but just never got around to it. So, I was pretty excited to go last month.
The nursery had a lot of great-looking native trees: oaks, pines, maples and sycamores. We went for a California Sycamore, because Dakota wanted a deciduous tree and we love the pretty white trunks and big, broad leaves. Our friends have a huge one in the back yard of their new house, and I am hopeful that this little guy will look that great someday.
While we were there, I couldn't resist purchasing a few native plants to plant in the backyard. I went for a variety of flowering bushes that are supposed to attract lots of butterflies and birds. I planted three along the side of the stairs. On the left side I put an Otay Mountain Lotus and a Red Fairy Duster.
And on the right, a Royal Penstemon. It likes well-drained, rocky soil and will produce showy purple flowers.
I planted this Rocky Point Pitcher Sage near the California Sycamore. It's supposed to produce large white flowers with a "lavender blush."
My hope is that the bushes and Sycamore will get established during the winter rainy season and really take off once Spring arrives. I can't wait to see all their flowers.