This picture shows the front of our house as it appeared in the garden section of the Press Democrat on April 27, 1967. The text identifies the landscaper responsible - one Donald Flowers. The grass is now gone from the front, but the rear has still a large lawn. This lawn is fighting for survival on account of the shade of the huge tree.
When the house was built, a lawn sprinkling system was installed,
quite a high-tech feat at the time.
This system we found to be quite defunct, decayed away long ago,
either on account of or causing Ralph's manual watering.
The rear garden map at left shows the deployment of the original sprinklers, knowledge gained through a great deal of exploratory digging. (You may have to right-click and view the image at x1 to see the details of the blueprint; it has been displayed at 800 pixels width, about 1/3 of the required level.)
The sprinkler feed lines are 2' deep and have been damaged beyond repair.
(The feed pipes were buried iron pipes.)
We have layed new pipe and new sprinkler heads on the two Eastern positions,
which required almost no excavation of lawn, as the run is in the flower
bed adjacent to the orchard fence. (There is some lawn in the arbor.)
Dominique helped us dig the trench and lay the pipe.
We had to thread it through several roots from the Faraway tree,
especially near the arbor.
Here you see the work of threading the pipe amongst tree roots
under way... all hands on deck, so to speak.
Note that this was earlier in Spring, and some light still gets
through the tree, whose leaves are not fully deployed.
Here is one of the Rainbird sprinklers doing its work. We tried two types, the Rainbird being so much better, and also easier to adjust for spread and range and flow, that we have gone to these exclusively. Their best model costs about US$15, very reasonable. Note that the sprinkler is surrounded by gravel to assist the removal of silt.
You may also note that in this location the grass is very thin, for
it gets very little light in this location, the SE corner, because of
tree and orchard fence.
Here you see the East side of the lawn being sprinkled.
Note the dappled light getting through the tree!
The South-East view.