Saturday, May 9, 2009

Garden Tasks

It's summer already here in southeast Texas. I was really hoping the heat and humidity would hold off a few weeks more, as I still have about two weekends worth of work in the garden to get it ready for summer. Once summer hits, I generally stay out of the garden, other than an hour or so in the morning or evening. So every spring (and thank goodness spring starts early here - usually around mid- to late-February) the rush is on to get everything done before it becomes unbearable to work out there.

Anyway, despite the heat, I do still have a number of things to get done. Today I tackled the beds in the front of the house. They're honestly not my favorite. My house has a very formal, Greek-revival design, so only very formal (and boring!) hedges and plantings look appropriate in the front. As a result, the front is quite plain; the back is where I get to play.

So today in the front beds I weeded, trimmed the hedges, pulled out a very overgrown boxwood and pulled up several liriope. I'm not posting any pictures yet, as it's all still in a rather ugly state. Tomorrow I have to distribute all the bags of pine mulch I picked up today at Lowe's. Then I should be finished with the front beds until the fall.

Since I don't have any pictures of the front beds to show you, here are a few pictures of the back:

Today in the Garden

French Hydrangea 'Pink Elf'

This cutie just grows more and more stunning by the day. Also pictured: New Zealand Brake Fern and Maidenhair Fern.

African Iris

A reliable grass-like evergreen. The flowers are just a bonus.


These bloom pretty much year-round for me. One of thse days, I'll replace those ugly white blocks with a more natural-looking moss rock.

Pineapple Guava

I have two of these in my butterfly bed. They're new for me this year (I planted them last fall), and should grow into small ornmental trees. The flowers are apparently edible (I haven't tried yet), and they produce a small fruit in the fall.


Haven't decided whether I'll keep this. The vine is a bit unruly, and it doesn't flower very prolificly for me. When it does flower, they sure are gorgeous, though.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Garden Tasks

Today I did the following in the garden:

• Pruned roses (Belinda's dream and Mutablis), loropetalum, Mexican oleander and abelias.

• Pulled weeds.

• Collected seeds from my columbine.

• Fought a battle with an army of about 1,000 mosquitos. I may have lost the battle, but I inflicted heavy casualties on their side.

I did have some help:

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Today in the Garden

I have four gardenias in one of my beds. This is one of the first blooms this season. Look closely and you'll see a lot of other buds around it; I should have a burst of blooms within a week or so.

Pentas, Egyptian Star Cluster
Just love these. Butterflies do, too.

Mexican Oleander
Lovely, fragrant flowers.

Dutchman's Pipe Vine
(Aristolochia elegans)
This probably wins the prize for strangest bloom in my garden. It's about 6 inches wide. About 5-6 of these are blooming on my vine currently.

French Hydrangea 'Pink Elf'
(Hydrangea macrophylla 'Pia')
A new favorite. It's full size at 18" tall.

Lily of the Nile - white
First time I've had some blooms on these; they may be in too much shade. Doesn't really matter too much to me, though, as I love their foliage, too.

Finally coming up. These are perennials in my garden. I planted them last spring and wasn't sure how they'd winter, but it looks like they did fine. Also pictured: one of my favorites, dwarf Abelia

Yellow Buttercup
(Turnera ulmifolia)
Cute new addition to the garden this year.


Hi there! I'm Texas Belle, a proud Texan with more hobbies than I can keep up with. (I also blog over at Myrtlewood Manor about the 1:12 scale house I'm building.) For several years now, I've wanted to keep a garden journal to keep up with the changes taking place in my garden from year to year, and only recently realized that blogging might be a very good way to do this.

Five years ago, our yard consisted of eight 50-60 foot trees and dirt. Since then, I've spent spring and fall of each year planting, pruning, transplanting, mulching and learning a lot about what does and doesn't work in our southeast Texas subtropical climate and sandy, acidic soil. I'll probably write most of my posts during the spring and fall, as I generally take a break from gardening during the hot Texas summer. Most of my posts will probably be fairly photo-heavy. I hope you enjoy them.