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Our first transplant to the front yard!

At last the transformation begins!

As you can see, with all of our winter rains the yard is currently an expanse of bright green, with a mixture of grass and weeds that resemble cress.

Before we can transplant all of the salvias, lavender and other native plants, we have to build gopher "baskets" out of galvanized steel cloth (which really isn't cloth at all).

Previously living in the "flatlands", the only really garden munchers we had were slugs and snails.

But now that we are up in the hills, there are more gardening challenges - deer and gophers.

Haven't even thought about what the local wild turkeys will eat.

I've been doing a lot of research to find out what plants are deer resistant. That's one thing.

Apparently they aren't interested in lavender, ceanothus or salvia, among other plants.

However, gophers could be a problem.

Since those little critters seem to be interested in a lot of plants, we have to play it safe and build galvanized steel baskets to put the plants in so that the gophers can't pull the plants through the steel mesh into any tunnels they may create.

The first steel basket was put together today, 18" x 18" square.

Then we dug a hole in the dirt, big enough to accommodate the basket, 18" deep x 18" square.

After we fit the basket into the hole, we poured back into the basket several inches of the soil we dug out for the hole.

Then we removed one of the lavender plants from its pot and placed it with its existing dirt bed into the basket.

We packed more of the dug out soil around the basket to completely fill any space.

Whew, a lot of work just for one plant! See the lavender plant at the top of the photo, almost exactly in the middle.

Just twenty-nine more to go!

And here is a close look at the lavender plant.

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