Sunday, April 24, 2011

Looking Back Part I

I ran across some photos of the garden from two years ago and thought it would be fun to do a "Then and Now" post.  This is my fourth year in my new home and the lot is the usual small city size.  Part of the reason I decided to do a strolling garden is that I thought by breaking up the space and making it so that one would have to walk through the bed that yard would feel larger than it actually is. Granted, the poor folks who mow the yard probably look at it, shake their heads and mutter four letter words under their breath every time they visit... usually because I've dug up a new path or bed since the last time the visited. I don't know what I'm going to do when the yard is finally all dug up and planted. I'll probably have to buy a new home then. Course, I'd then have to figure out how I'm going to drag hundreds of bulbs and plants to the new home... hmmm, maybe it would be worth it to stay in the current home for a big longer. But I digress.
The above view is looking south through the west arbor. The garden is two years old (2009) and the beds are small. The Bermuda grass [which I hate incidentally] is looking really nice and green here. Obviously there was a good amount of rain in 2009. One thing I tried to stick with since the start was to have as many perennials and bulbs as possible so that the garden would become more lush over time. I have been able to divide many of the plants over the years and move the freebies around the gardens, front and back.
This is what the back beds looked like in 2009.  The bed is a sideways U shape. The west arbor is in front of this bed and you have to walk around to the back bed. I realized this year that I should have made the path from the arbor straight through to the back bed with one long bed on the side. But I didn't want to dig up all the iris bulbs, salvias, snapdragons and other bulbs to continue the path. I should have planned this better from the start. Oh well, c'est la vie. 
This is the west arbor today. The beds have been expanded, and will be expanded even more along the fence in the years to come. It's slow going as the Bermuda and clay soil is really tough to cut through. The bird bath had to be moved over a bit so that a lawn mower can get through to the cut the  lawn on the pathway. Hence the unsightly dirt square. Ignore the red basket on the left, those are new plants waiting to be planted. If only planting were as fun as buying and reading about plants!

The birdbath is also kind of sad looking. It was a solar one that I bought from QVC two years ago. It worked great for a year, then hail smashed the solar panel. The replacement panel I purchased ran for about two weeks than completely quit. So the birds have had to settle for a plain ole water bowl with a rock to land on. They frequent it heavily, especially since there is little water in the area available. Still, I miss the sound of the bubbling water. I've always been a little worried about having an electric fountain running and there being a fire or short when bad weather occurs and the solar birdbath solved that problem. Maybe someday I can get another moving fountain. Meanwhile, need to find something to cut down the algae or whatever it is growing in the fountain. Yuck!
A look at the curved walkway under the west arbor. Love the little pavers I found at Lowes. They were only $0.39 each and light enough to easily move around. Unfortunately Lowes has been out of these the last two times I've visited. I hope that doesn't mean they stopped carrying the pavers. I still have a lot of pathway to edge. The Climbing America is two years old and doing well. The larkspur came back from last year - yay! - and is just this weekend starting to bloom. I love this plant and have started putting out seed in other places. The white Rose of Sharon behind the rose bush is not doing well this year, though. Boo!
The white salvias sure do put on a show and help light up the space at dusk. I've made a point of adding more white and light colored plants this year to prolong the time I can enjoy the garden. If the wind doesn't get you here in West Texas the extreme heat of the day will. Late evening and early morning are really the best and sometimes only times you can enjoy the garden. I had planted a purple plum tree the second week I was in the house for shade but the neighbor's dog dug under the fence and killed it... and several other plants along with that. Later that summer I bought a corkscrew willow from my school's greenhouse sale with the hopes that it would add some shade. Yeah, the tree [see below] is still not that big. It's really cool and adds nice movement in the wind, but doesn't seem to be growing all that tall. It's a willow, the sucker should have doubled by now, darn it.
Here you can kind of see the back bed, the curved pathway in front of it and the long bed that edges the curved pathway. The daylilies, asiatic and oriental lilies and minature roses are in full swing. The yellow achillea was a little seedling I found growing in the grass near the mother plant and transplanted to this bed. I took a year but it's now blooming and doing well. I love free plants!
This view is from the curved pathway looking north, towards the house. You can see in from this vantage point that the yard really isn't all the deep. The large yellow achillea in the upper left corner is the mother of the seedling plant. All the daylilies are filling out and should start blooming in a month or so. Several of these are pass-along plants from my friend Lyn. Her plants are so vigorous and healthy, better than any I buy from the store it seems. Every gardener should have a friend like that  :}
And in celebration of Easter, here's the bunny that watches over my garden. He's a little rotund and has a good sense of humor. The sunglasses were courtesy of one of the lawn crew, or at least that's who I think put them there. They just appeared one day.


  1. You've made a LOT of progress in the last two years! I love your curved pathway - and the rose growing up the arbor is beautiful! I can tell you've put a lot of hard work into this - and it's lovely. I bet the mowing people love to come and see what all you've done, and how much less they have to mow!

  2. Thanks, Holley. There are times when it feels like nothing is getting done and then I see a photo of what it looked like at an earlier time and a sense of accomplishment surges through me. Not sure the mowing folks will feel the same. They haven't yet tried to fit the lawnmower through the curved path. Hopefully I left it wide enough.

  3. It's great to look back like this. It makes you really appreciate the progress you have made (especially on days when you think you haven't got anywhere, as happens to me a lot!) I love your strolling garden. It's really turned out beautifully.

  4. Lynn, It’s a very rainy Spring day so I thought it would be a good time to check in on you and the other Blogs I follow. Can not be out in the dirt so I am here at the computer. Like the "then and now" post. I have done some of the same and called it Seasonal Contrasts giving views from throughout the year. They have been posted somewhere in the archives if you want to see them. Always a nice idea to do that kind of thing. Makes you appreciate how far you and your garden have come. Nice. Jack

  5. Your Climbing America looks great and you have so much interest and color in your beds. They look great. I like the sunglasses on the bunny. Someone in your lawn crew has a good sense of cuteness. :)

  6. Jennifer@threedogsinagarden
    Hi Lynn, I bet you could invent lots of whimsical stories about how the bunny got those sun glasses! I enjoyed reading about the progress of your garden. I really like the arbor and the peach colored roses- they really add to the garden.

  7. Jayne, there are many a day I think nothing's change and then I get a nice surprise when a new plant comes up or blooms. One of the best parts of being a gardener.

    Jack, I'll try to get by your site to see some of your seasonal contrasts.

    Sweetbay, I love my Climbing Americas. They have a lovely scent and the bright pink color does well with the strong light here in West Texas.

    Jennifer, hi! The frightening thing with the sunglasses is I have no idea when they showed up. Bunny just had them one day. But he does look good in them.



Related Posts with Thumbnails