Welcome to my version of a sustainable landscape in suburbia (for now, only some of the trees are pictured). It has generated no pollution since the last time chainsaws were used for tree trimming. No topsoil has been removed since 2007, in fact the land has been the recipient of dozens and dozens of bags of leaves that got composted instead of landfilled. I live on Grace Drive in Richardson and my house backs up to Spring Valley, thus the name Grace Valley. The picture below is recent, the one below it was taken in 2008 (click for larger version). I did not plant any of these trees (live oaks, red oaks, and redbuds), nor have I watered them during some long droughts. All I did was rip out and smother the lawn with leaves and composted leaves and Nature took over (I do, on a regular basis, spread shredded and composted leaves). Several months ago there so many trees that a bunch had to be removed. There are still too many, and I will soon again be faced with the enviable dilemma of choosing the best specimens.
My point in making this webpage is to share the results of a non-arborist engineer-composter-treelover-lawndisliker with the hope others like the concept enough to adopt it, at least for a generous local area around the tree trunk. I started helping the tree population grow in the traditional manner – buy, dig, plant, water, and hope. Some trees did extremely well but others died. Experience taught me that there is a risk in planting a large tree, and a year guarantee nice of the retailer but I want more. Therefore I am now an advocate of a different approach – create a forest-like home (reduced turf and plenty of surface organic matter) and let the squirrels do the planting. If no squirrels are available, I’d either plant acorns/seeds or, perhaps the best compromise, overplant the smallest size trees available. To me the no-turf, small tree concept is self-evident, but if you need some convincing, please have a look at this Choosenatives.org webpage, points 3, 4, and 8. The rest of the page is informative, too, but please come back!
Pictures do not do Grace Valley justice and I want real visitors to see the real Grace Valley. I hope to impress some people enough so that they create their own version of a suburban forest. Feel free to drive by 412 Grace and look at the front; you can see some of the back from Spring Valley. The above photo can only be seen for real by appointment only…please contact Rob, email@example.com. And if you cannot make it by, please leave a message below and let me know what you think.