Outside Updates

I’ll write more later this week on what’s happening on the inside of the house but for now it’s time to get caught up on what’s been going on outside.

For starters, the decorative stone work on the short walls at the front is almost done.

Courtyard walls 1

I’ve discovered one of stone-mason Ramon’s techniques, however. He doesn’t just grab a stone out of the box and place it on the wall, he plans his work.

Courtyard walls 2

Not sure exactly where those stones will all go, exactly (OK, OK, on that wall in the picture) but clearly he lays the stones out so he can see what he has to work with.

Speaking of stones, and moving around to the west and south sides of the house, the gravel and plants continue to go in. A cloudy day week before last lets the differences in color between the larger and smaller stones stand out.

Landscaping stone

The landscapers are slowly bringing these stones around to the south side of the house, planting cacti, agaves, and yuccas as they go.

Landscaping plants

The taller plants are yucca. There are two small agaves there also, but they’re hard to see.

Around on the south side of the house, Will’s team has put in a little “river feature” to channel the overflow from the rainwater tank so that it doesn’t wash out the buffalo grass that will go in there–my one patch of lawn.

"River" feature

The rainwater tank installation is complete. The last task for Rick and his assistant was to put in the final sections of pipe that bring the water from the roof to the tanks. (The white PVC pipes will get painted the same color as the metal pipes leading to them so there’s a consistent appearance all the way.)

Downspout installation

The day after that photo was taken, we got a little bit of rain, and that resulted in this lovely sight and sound.

The result was the float gauge in the bottom tank–that’s that thing with the red band on the pipe in front of the tank–rising about a foot (and revealing a leak in one of the out-bound pipes–oops!).

First saved rainwater

That’s Bill calling Rick to tell him about the leak. It was fixed right away.

In a few days, landscaper Will is going to send some guys by my current house to pick up some white quartz I’ve collected from the site and elsewhere, to be used as decorative stone, and some other cacti I have to be planted in the yard. A couple of the pincushion cacti are, you might say, returning to their roots, since I dug them out of the ground at the home site before we broke ground. They were in an area that was going to get dug up or scraped down and I didn’t want to lose them. They’re about four times the size they were when I dug them up, so they should do well.

Next time I’ll write about the interior painting and FINALLY having all the windows installed.

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