Pineapple (front) curry plant (left) lime tree (back)
I'd been observing this area under the lime tree for about a year now. When the only things that will survive are pineapples, curry plants, lime trees and geraniums, it was certain the soil needed some improvement. I decided to use gravity to help retain some moisture, but it required a new wall to be built.
Between two separate block walls, this used to be a walkway, up to the chicken coop. We stopped using it however, when the lime tree grew, and encroached upon the path.
The top log was a find by David, and has been sitting in the yard for a while. So I propped it up with a large stone, added one of our own logs underneath - then backfilled, to raise and flatten the land. Hopefully this would stop the water running down hill from now on - causing it to soak in, instead.
Using existing walls, as part of the new one
You can see the red soil, above where we backfilled. It's the remnants leftover from our recent block wall project (also seen at the far back). This red clay/dirt needed to be moved around some more, to help flatten this area too.
Click to enlarge
This area is much flatter now, and has been given a dressing of compost and spent coffee grounds, from David's work. Then we mulched over the top.
The old footpath, has been completely blocked off by the new wall now, but we still use the walkway, to the right of the lime tree. I'm really impressed with the plants which have survived in this spot, with hardly any assistance. We occasionally tipped old chicken water over the pineapple, when changing their water. But it was never much.
So if you need some drought tolerant plants, don't go past the Tahitian lime, curry plant or pineapple. Our lemon tree succumbed to some sort of rust a few years earlier, but this lime tree is indestructible and makes an excellent substitute for lemon in recipes. The curry plant has also outlived many natives which have died in our extreme weather conditions.
I sometimes wonder, why I don't do these simple projects sooner, but then you have to observe to see if things need to change. I hope this little bit of effort, helps now.