I have a bit of a bi-polar, existential dispute going on within my persona. On the one hand, the sun instantly burns my skin to a color resembling a freshly cooked shrimp, and both body and mind yearn for the protection of lush green shade to hide in. On the other hand, the artist in me absolutely loves the multitude of wild, exuberant, strong, sculptural shapes of sun-loving plants like Yuccas, grasses, Eryngiums, etc.., not to mention blue foliage. So, since I’ve built up plenty of shade over almost a decade, there isn’t a lot of light to go around. Contemplating this problem, I started thinking that maybe there was something I could do to create better access to light in a few places, so that perhaps I could grow some of these beauties, after all. And so began the Side yard experiment.
The west side of my house gets really hot, but not until the afternoon. The distance between our house, and that of our neighbors’ is only something like 11′. Luckily, theirs is a one-story – otherwise this might never have worked out! The idea was that if I lifted the plants up a little, the sun would hit them earlier in the day, and they would like me a little better than if I simply let them languish, and fend for themselves at ground level. There was only one problem. Big, tall planters can cost a fortune, and quite frankly, I would rather spend that on the plants themselves.