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Now let me tell you about the Beginnings of our jungle home. All of this information about the history was relayed by Alice and Thad so if it's wrong, it is because they either lied or they got things messed up in their heads again. I wasn't there at the time so there is no way to tell if any of this stuff is accurate. Thad and Alice discovered the property in the fall of 1986. They had been looking for a good location to plant an evergreen garden for over two years. This tract of land was virtually what they had been searching for. The site consisted of 19 acres. It had a 1.5 acre homesite with the remainder in farm land which they could lease in order to make a buck, or they could utilize it as they desired. The soil is extremely fertile, sandy loam of which the sand extends approximately 18 inches deep on the north side to 4 inches deep on the south side. Under this layer of sand lies a layer of clay. This clay layer holds the limited rainwater and prevents the sand from completely drying out between showers.
The farmland has irrigation from the Rio Grande river. An irrigation standpipe is located at the Northwestern end of the property amidst native trees of huisache, anacua, and hackberry. Although the Rio Grande Valley is basically flat, this site has an obvious elevation change. The land drains from northeast to southwest with a wooded berm cutting the farm acreage in two sections. The wooded berm consists of mostly native trees and brush. The homesite has a larger slope which gives another dimension to the private garden. The homesite has irrigation consisting of black pipe and 2" PVC. Thad installed the black pipe immediately after purchasing the property. The 2" pvc was installed several years later in order to supply additional water. This irrigation is controlled by two valves and gravity feeds the water down into the yard. Spouts with screw on type caps were placed in various locations generally on higher areas where the water would spread out over the proposed beds. A ditch lies in the center of the homesite which can be filled with irrigation water via a 4" pvc pipe. (I love this ditch since it makes me feel like I am sitting on the Amazon River.)
The yard was virtually void of plants when the property was purchased. There were 5 large ash trees on the rear of the property with a diameter ranging from 5 inches to 18 inches. Two cottonwoods were south of the house. There were a few small plants in close proximity to the garage and the remainder of the yard was filled with sticker burrs. This was the sum and total of the plants at the time of purchase. The first winter was bleak since the trees were deciduous. Two hundred palms and various other tropicals were then planted surrounding the irrigation spouts. A small citrus grove was planted where it could be flooded with the 4" pipe. The small plants added little to the drabness and the overall homesite was rather ugly for the first two winters. On the third winter, the gardens were growing and vastly improved, and the evergreen jungle began to form. The cottonwoods were removed since the garden was to be evergreen plus Thad needed this valuable area so he could grow delicious fruit for his loving Mango.
Here we define LUSH as more than a word!