After living in the city and having to maintain a yard, most new homeowners are glad to say goodbye to the weekly drudge of lawn maintenance. Good riddance to the watering mowing, fertilizing and all the other headaches that go with having a yard and hello to the wonderful pine scented trees.
Yard work on the mountain is a little different than the city. By June 30th every year we have to complete our weed abatement and remove all the pine needles and weeds near our homes. This is a county mandate to help reduce risk of wildfires. It is surprising how much tree debris acuminates in a short amount of time. You can bag up your tree clippings or hire a hauler to take them to the transfer station. There are also chipper crews that help chip small limbs of trees for free. For more information on the chipping programs please call me at 909-338-9995.
Although we do not have yards in the traditional sense on the mountain (pines make it very difficult for grass to grow) we do have our own brand of landscaping. Many beautiful trees thrive up here in addition to the fourteen different types of pine and cedars. Dogwoods and fruit-bearing trees such as apple, cherry and peach thrive. Wild strawberries and blackberries do very well too. We have plenty of rocks everywhere you can add as a border, a path or even a rock wall.
Nursery flowers are normally found in planters and containers on decks since many forest creatures think of them as a delectable treat! Daffodils do well here. They are extremely tolerant of a spring snow shower. It’s not unusual to see daffodils blooming with snow on the ground. Plus, the squirrels do not like to eat the bulbs. In the spring, beautiful daffodils bloom all along Highway 189. Lilac bushes are another spring flowering species that is common in the area.
One thing to be aware of is you are gardening on a slope. A plant called Vinca is an excellent choice for slopes. It will grow in sun or shade and is a great choice for erosion control. Another, not as popular choice is English ivy.
If you are interested in learning more about gardening here on the mountain, Heeps Peak Arboretum, located on Highway 18 between Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs has a one-mile trail you can visit for free to learn more about the mountain plants. Crestline Village Water District is giving away a wonderful 32-page booklet called, Landscaping for mountain homes. You can pick it up at the Water District located at 777 Cottonwood Drive, Crestline CA. It is filled with information on gardening on the mountain. Purchasing your plants from a local nursery is a good idea too. They only stock plants that will grow up here and the staff is very well informed on mountain gardening.
The nicest thing about living on the mountain is you can get as involved as you want with your garden. Because it’s a forest your yard will look great no matter what you do.