Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Crossing Over The Bridge


When I designed my back yard landscape, I wanted a meandering rip rap river bed for visual interest, as well as to guide rain water to the low areas of my sloped yard. This rip rap element bisects most of my back yard landscape. I needed some means to cross from one side to the other, and had originally considered several choices ranging from simple stepping stones in the shallow areas of the dry stream, to more elaborate custom-formed concrete arches. My husband eventually built a couple of curved steel and wood bridges for me. This turned out to be quite a lengthy project, and he was very glad when it was completed!


Those bridges worked fine, but as time passed I found I was also crossing over in a couple of other areas. I did this by walking across the loose, crumbly rip rap--not exactly safe practice. However, I was not going to ask my husband to build more bridges, so I started looking into some alternatives. By chance, I saw some wood bridges on sale at quite a discount, so I purchased two and brought them home. Trying to follow the assembly instructions was a nightmare (Chinese product) but we finally got them together, and now I can easily (and safely) cross the stream bed in four convenient places.


--------------------------------------------------


New Blooms This Week...
Parodia erubescens


Stenocactus crispatus (Brain Cactus)

Echinocereus dasycanthus (Texas Hedgehog)


Eremophila hygrophana (Emu sp.)

23 comments:

Grammy said...

Hi Thanks for stopping by. We are lucky if we get tomatoes by the 4th of July. Our temp is going to early 30ths tonight. I really enjoyed your photos. Have a great week.

GardenJoy4Me said...

Aiyana your garden and its design never ceases to amaze me !
I love the little bridge .. and that gold reflective gazing ball off to the side .. if I were a child again this would be paradise to me .. even as a youngster I respected and loved gardens like this. Your cactus blooms are so pretty and I can't recall seeing brain cactus before .. that is a new one for me : )

Claude said...

I like those little bridges... however I don't have a creak-bed so I don't have a real need for one.

The brain cactus is probably my favorite of the plants, but if you wanted to send me any of them, I'd take them! have a great day!

Suzanne said...

I always love your posts. I've seen your river bed in a couple of other photos too and think it beautiful the way it meanders through your back yard. Love the bridge -- just beautiful! Your blooms this week are spectacular. I love the vibrant colors of cacti flowers. There's nothing like them!

WiseAcre said...

It looks like you got the bridge built right side up despite the instructions. It's a nice looking bridge. I like the slight curve and it fits in the landscape nicely.

Paula said...

Love the bridge! What a clever idea. I saw your stream area in one of your last posts and wondered if you used it for run off. I am sure the whole thing looks rather awesome through your yard.
Your flowers are always so unique -I am slowly being drawn to SW plants because of you! I look forward to your posts each week.
Paula from Idaho

Elizabeth-Plain and Simple said...

Your back yard sounds beautiful with the rip rap river bed and bridges. Love the new blooms this week. Thanks for sharing.

Blessings,
Elizabeth

Darla said...

Love the bridge!! Beautiful blooms.

Phoenix C. said...

What a beautiful photo with your bridge - I love the light haloing the plants. This looks a peaceful meditative place.

Carla said...

As always your cacti amaze me! That little purple bloom is quite something else also.

Love the rock stream (smart), and how nice to have many safe, attractive, places to cross!

Elena said...

I love your bridge! The cactus blooms are so vibrant and beautiful.

Linda said...

Hello Fellow Phoenix Gardener!!!

I am on season three of my AZ garden and having great fun while learning what grows when in the Valley of the Sun.

Please stop by my blog garden for a visit. I would love to trade info.

http://moonvalleygarden.blogspot.com/

Your bridges look great and I am happy to hear you are safely walking through your garden.

Jean said...

Your landscaping is gorgeous and I love that you are showing us larger areas! The bridge is perfect! As always your cactus flowers are amazing! The 'brain' cactus flower is certainly unique. Thanks! Jean

NotSoAngryRedHead said...

What a great bridge and dry stream bed! Very picturesque.

Jenn said...

I love the diversity of cactus and their blooms. I'm slowing building a collection of potted cacti, and I love checking yours out!

Thanks!

Wanita said...

Your little bridges are wonderful. And I love the desert blooms. We visited Scottsdale and Green Valley at the end of February, but it was still a little too early for the flowers to be in bloom. However, it was a lovely, warm respite from our Minnesota winter.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I hope we'll see more of your desert blooms.

Julie said...

I have always wished to have a creek bed of any type...rip rap sounds so interesting...I will have to learn more about it!!! Glad you got bridges in all the areas needed...I know it will make your life so much easier!!! Your cacti blooms are gorgeous! You are an inspiration to a lot of people sounds like, from all your comments!!!

sisah said...

I love your garden-landscape photo with that tiny bridge sorrounded by polsters of convulvus cnoerum (?) and that colourful bunch of grass..wonderful.
I had no idea what you meant with the expression riprap element, even with that stange german translation I did not have a clue, google helped a little to understand.First I thought you meant these Japanese KARESANSUI GARDENS which have waterstreams without water, but your riprap element has water.

Anonymous said...

I live in Phoenix. My husband is a cactus freak, and I'm just getting interested in caudiciform plants. Would love to ask you some questions!

Sharon in Phoenix

Aiyana said...

Sharon,
You can write to ferocactus44(at)yahoo.com if you want. Of course, you have to change the "at" to the symbol.

Aiyana said...

Sisah,
Actually, the rip rap stream bed is dry, except for when we have our rare downpours during the summer monsoon period. Winter and spring rains are very gentle, so water can soak into the ground without any runoff. The rip rap in my stream bed is a mix of medium grade buff limestone with some 4" to 12" pink quartz chunks. The limestone is very soft, and crumbles easily into layers. Rip rap is a fairly common material used in Arizona landscapes because it is particularly suited to the rugged desert look of many landscapes. Some people prefer the smooth, dark river rock instead, but that doesn't look as natural in the desert. The choice is all in the look you are aiming for in your landscape.
Aiyana

Lancashire rose said...

You have a wonderful eye for landscape design. The bridge setting is quite lovely.

beckie said...

Aiyana, I love the look of your new bridges. Really sets off your dry stream bed. Your blooms are lovely-I remember the brain cactus from last year. Very unusual, but pretty.