Saturday, July 21, 2012

Silverleaf Nightshade

These papery looking, purple and white wildflowers belong to a member of the potato family.

Some of the common names are silverleaf nightshade, bull nettle and white horse nettle.

The Latin name, Solanum elaeagnifolium, suggests a narcotic effect, and the entire plant is considered poisonous.  They are usually very prickly and have long tap roots, making them a challenge to remove.  But the star-shaped flowers with their long yellow stamens are very pretty.

The bushes are small now, but apparently can reach three feet in height.
They are springing up along the ditches and ruts around our some-day driveway.

Today we were hammering stakes here and there.

Across the front of the house there is a high berm with the fiber-optic cables already embedded,
so the berm must stay. 
On the street side, which is steeper, we are going to build a retaining wall to support the berm - since we can't remove the berm, we have to incorporate it somehow. 
Initially, we planned to extend the retaining wall only part way across the lot, but after studying it some more, we decided that will look odd. 
We have to support the entire berm.  So we marked the full length with stakes and bright pink string.

Here's the view from both directions, with the trench for the footings partially dug.

At the corner of the lot there is a swale.  We'll have the retaining wall turn the corner and extend a few feet toward the lake to support the land around the big electrical box.
In the back yard we marked the additions to the pool decking that are needed to connect to the garden house on the same grade. 
It was darn hot out there.  If the pool had been full, we would have fallen into it clothes and all!

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