I finally found homes for all my twiggy little trees. Non of these fairy gardens are really finished, but I put them in rich new potting soil, set them under a good sun spot. These were previously somewhat underprivileged trees that either had poor soil or poor pot, or little sun light. The pink Serissa tree in the first picture grew so meagerly compare to the other ones I got around the same time, I decided that it was time to move it to a deeper pot under plenty of sun. The ground covers will eventually grow to cover everywhere, but for now I'm not too worried about it! If all goes well, in a few weeks, they will start thriving!
My next door neighbors have a young renter couple that live in a separate unit. They've been living there for two years though we hardly knew them. Recently the landlords family decided to rip out a shrub wall between our backyards to re-landscape. All of a sudden I see them every single day when I'm working in the backyard. Even their cat come to visit and say hi. Turned out, one of our neighbors has quite a green thumb. He grew up on a farm and knew all kinds of farm stuff, he'd been helping a British gentleman on the other side of their house putting in a veggie garden and has quite a nice veggie patch himself. I had a tour of his veggie garden and was really impressed. Last week he offered to help trim my very over grown lemon tree for a small fee. He did a fantastic job, and this week he is helping me putting in my veggie garden.
I remember the first year I planted lots of vegetables, but with little success. Turned out, the soil had to be turned pretty good since it was hard as solid rock. I had two gardeners helping me work these things out before, all of them charged an arm and leg, but non of them actually did what this neighbor did for me, which is churning up the soil throughly. He also recommended organic compost, and talked to me about the various kind of winter vegetables good to grow local here in Southern California. He was about miles more knowledgable than my gardeners, and I'm learning about gardening first hand that books couldn't teach me. Anyway, my point is, other than the fact that I'm glad to get to know our neighbors better, I am so much more confident that this vegetable patch will be more successful than my previous ones. My goal is to grow enough vegetable to satisfy most of our cooking needs. Fingers crossed that it will happen:)