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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Concrete Jungle and Random Stuff

There's a house in my neighborhood that I drive by often and find intriguing.  It's a nice older home but the fascinating part is the extensive use of urbanite in the yard. Last night I walked over with the camera to explore more closely.


Those walls fairly tall.  Can you imagine the work involved?

These bench looking bits appear in various spots but they're too high for that use

Serpentine paths ascend to the level of the house. 

and around the garden.  

There are different ages of concrete, some dark with exposed river rock, some lighter with finer gravel.  The walls continue down the street.



And around the corner to the alley.

Can you imagine what this would look like with succulents growing out of those crevices?

Some folks in the hood are not fond of this at all but I like it's quirkiness.  What do you think - folk art or blight?

Also spied on our walk and too cute not to include:


Am I the only one who wants to space these evenly?  Perhaps even put some plants in them?  

As older homes were lost,  they were, and continue to be replaced by newer homes.  Interesting juxtaposition of house styles and ages.  




Really want to add another yellow something to balance the loner right of center. 

Happy weekend!  Hope you are enjoying summer to the fullest while it lasts!

29 comments:

  1. I was thinking what a cool wall that would be for succulents. Maybe you could walk by and tuck one or two little sedums in there every so often :-D

    Summer here is something to be endured, not enjoyed!

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    1. Sort of like Johnny Appleseed only with succulents? We look forward to summer as the the weather is always so nice.

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  2. I can't make up my mind if I like the concrete or not. It looks nice in some of the pictures, then rather messy in others: I think the hot dry summer and the dead grass don't help. I do like the idea of reusing and recycling, so I'm going to give it thumbs up!
    Tucking sedums in your neighbor's window planters gets thumbs up as well as a big laugh.

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    1. It's hard to decide as there are interesting things about the concrete but more plants would help so that you'd only see glimpses of it. Walk by planting - love it.

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  3. My issue with the wall is the execution.

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    1. Yes, it's a bit messy. Cover it with plants!

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  4. I definitely would be tempted to space those things in the window more evenly. That's a whole lotta urbanite -- too much, in my opinion. I think urbanite walls look better if they stay down low, or if it's used for pathways. Because the pieces are never uniform, when it gets too high, it exaggerates the messiness. Dry-stacked walls that high might not be stable as well.

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    1. I agree with you but am wondering if there is a way to fix this without tearing the whole thing apart.

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  5. I love these dry walls made of broken concrete. What a great use of material from a dump! It's not something that is brought in from elsewhere, like redwood or cedar would be for us down here in SoCal, but part of the city. The bench that is too high to sit on would hold nice little pots of succulents or mosses if they weren't stolen

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    1. Theft might be an issue but you're right pots on those bench things would look great!

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  6. So the question in my mind is where are they getting all that concrete? Having it dumped there and then arranging it? I like parts of it, and the idea of it...but...it looks a little like they're trying to build a fortress to keep out the rest of the world.

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    1. I've no idea where all this came from. It's a bit much by itself and needs to be covered in plants.

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  7. Def. would have to re-space those 3 thingies on the window sill. The jury is out for me on the urbanite (but I'm thrilled to learn a new word). Re. adding one yellow to balance out the existing one....I guess I'd have to add 2 since I am rather ruled by the rule of odd numbers. :)

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    1. Three yellows would work well! Still thinking about those huge urbanite walls and what kinds of plants might cover parts of it.

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  8. That's a lot of urbanite - too much and piled too high in my view but I think what bothers me most about it is the way it's stacked. It seems too uniform, like a brick wall pattern rather than a dry-stack wall.

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    1. I agree but how to fix it without taking the whole thing down?

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  9. Wouldn't it be fun to revise and play around with all that urbanite now that the back-breaking work is done?

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  10. There's of potential here. Since the execution is a bit sloppy (about what I would be able to, I suspect) I'd use trailing plants and tuck succulents into the crevices, as you suggested. That would soften the overall look (and size) and mask the flaws..

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    1. It would be fun to spend some time adding plants!

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  11. As others have said, I like the walls, but they need trailing plants spilling over the tops and succulents and other suitable plants tucked into the crevices. Alison and Loree make good points, though. I would worry about them being unstable, stacked that high. Perhaps I like the walls so much BECAUSE they look like a fortress built to exclude the rest of the world (my inner hermit rejoices at the thought).

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    1. More plants is always a good solution! And mirrors.

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  12. Now that I have taken time to look more closely, this house is falling into disrepair. Look more closely at photo # 1.

    It looks as if this project has not been finished. In Photo #5 there is rubble near the end of the upward path if not outright junk, including a skateboard.

    In photo #2 there is a wheelbarrow at the top of what I have decided is a berm gone wild. The reason I think it's a berm is there is a steadily upward climb and then there must be a path along side the house, I think you can figure that one out in photo #4. The wall and wide earthen area cover half the window and door.

    The garden is neglected; that isn't just dry weather. Shrubs are hanging over onto the porch. I wonder if the original plan was never completed -- time and strength just ran out. A little urbanite goes a long way, I can attest to that.

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    1. You are very observant. Not really visible in the pictures is that there's insulation in the upstairs windows, and a lot of other house neglect problems and you're right, the garden hasn't been tended in a long time. I imagine an eccentric lives there. Perhaps there was a death before the project could be completed. Hauling that much concrete would kill me!

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  13. Yes, I want to evenly space the window sill ornaments and plant a balancing yellow bush, AND I want to straighten up all of those broken concrete walls! My OCD is screaming at me. Thanks, Peter. Now I might have to go find something to straighten in my house just to get it out of my system! Can't go outside. It's too WET! Yay!

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    1. Thanks for the laugh! I can see you tidying as we speak. Thank goodness for the rain!

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  14. I like it, though it would be better softened with some grasses, vines, and, ok - succulents.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.