Wednesday, March 30, 2016

New Roses and Front Yard Color!

 The front yard is starting to get really colorful! This is the first, AMAZING, bloom on the Living Easy rose that my in-laws got me for Christmas. It's my first one ordered from Antique Rose Emporium (the owner's book, Empress of the Garden, is what got me interested in roses, after I saw it featured on Central Texas Gardener).

 The volunteer patch of blue bonnets at the curb has really grown! I almost pulled them a few months ago when I didn't know what they were. I'm glad a friend identified them! They're prettier up close than I thought they'd be.

 This $6 bodybag rose from Wal-Mart was supposed to be a white climber (Sally something), but has turned out yellow. My first mislabeled rose! Since it's a pale yellow, and growing so happily where it is (in the bed where I'm trying to do only white flowers), I'll leave it here. Anyone know its name?

 Have wanted some striped roses for a long time, and got these minis for $3 at a grocery store. They look nice near the curb, next to the red Autumn sage, which has decided to bloom bicolor this spring.

 Rio Samba rose, purchased bodybag over a year ago. Not a great photo... My phone's camera has a hard time capturing the color.

 A view of the curb from the other end. I need to put DE on those ants along the red stepping stones.

 Back to opposite end of curb. This bed has 6 different rose bushes in shades of orange, I'm so excited to see them all in bloom soon! 😁 I may have overcrowded things a bit, we'll see how it goes.

 The gauras are just stunning this spring. I think the flowers get paler as the weather heats up, and they get lankier. I love their lanky shape, though, similar to pinata lavender.

 From this view, the gaura is behind the fringe flower. The colors look great together. The pink turk's cap and sea nymph salvias in this bed will add more color later.

 I don't know what this yellow flowering thing is, because I bought it when I knew nothing about plants. I happened upon a nursery closing down, she was selling everything cash 80% off, and I told her I wanted stuff that was easy to grow. She was awesome, she sketched out a flower bed shape for me, where to put each plant, sold me a ton of awesome plants and some flagstone pieces for $50. Someday I'll have to post a photo of that original bed.

The cool colors bed is brightening up, too! Pinata lavender, salvias, New dark purple gladiolus spikes growing up, etc.  The gladiolus bulbs were from my husband for Valentine's, I wanted perennial bulbs instead of cut flowers so I can enjoy them for years! There's a new bodybag purple rose, Heirloom, planted at the base of this trellis, with no buds yet.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Red Summer Annuals

 At my parents' house today, I changed out the spring annuals for summer ones.
My mom likes red and orange flowers, and I try to keep it low maintenance because she works, has arthritis, and takes care of my disabled dad and brother.

 In this pot out in the middle of the yard, I replaced pansies with purple fountain grass and a cute little striped miniature rose. My dad commented a while back that he liked red & white striped flowers, so when my neighbor got some of these at a grocery store for just $3, I grabbed one for my parents and one for myself! I also discovered some emerging tulips here that I forgot I'd planted. I think they're red.

 I should've gotten a better "after" pic here. Rainbow chard and pansies were replaced with dahlias, some red spikey flowers and a purple sweet potato vine. The dahlias are huge, very symmetrical, mostly red with some yellow... But I knocked most of the petals off when I watered them. I think I'd drought-stressed them before planting. I don't care for the perfect / symmetrical look of most dahlias, to me they look artificial or something. But I think my mom will like them. I find it a fun challenge to try and understand what styles other people like. As an artist and graphic designer, I've had to be able to do that for clients. Sometimes it's more difficult than others.

 In the hanging basket, replaced most of the pansies with a red petunia and a sweet potato vine.

 I planted this cross vine on the side of their house a year or two ago. Found the metal cot at a thrift store, actually two of them, and planted them each with cross vines at my house and their house. Theirs has grown waaaaay bigger than mine! Also planted freebie white irises here along the side of their house, a few boxwoods, purple heart, and hanging baskets with sedums.

On the left, the foundation bed includes red Autumn sages, oxblood lilies, purple cannas that have bright orange flowers, gallairdia (sp? Too busy to look it up.), pinky orangy puffball cone flowers, and some various seeds I just threw in today.

Around the left corner of the house I planted a red rose bush a while back... It's huge and sprawling and should explode in blooms soon. Maybe you can help me identify it. In their front yard I've planted a red crape myrtle (at far left of photo) and a red tipped photinia (because my parents like them) which I'll train as a tree.

Thanks for looking!

Update: The dahlias finally bloomed again. My mom just texted me a photo to ask what it is. I'm glad she likes them as I thought she would!

Monday, March 21, 2016

Bible Verse of the Day

Bible Gateway's verse of the day today is gardening-themed:
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8 NIV

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hot Lips Salvia, New $5 Outdoor Rug!

To the left of the bench swing, here in the front yard, are my 3 Hot Lips Salvia plants. I got them a couple years ago at Wal-Mart. (I've been impressed with Wal-Mart's selection of unique perennials!)
 I cut them back pretty hard a few weeks ago and they've filled out nicely. They have a great, minty smell when crushed.
 I don't have a lot of red in the garden, but I love their red and white blooms. Depending on the temperature, they also bloom all white or all red.

The store Five Below, where everything is $5 or less, has these cute plastic rugs! I don't know how well it'll hold up, but what a great price.

In the store they also had some colorful metal tables or stools that would make great plant stands. And big, colorful, flexible gardening tubs that look just like Tubtrugs!

Since I'm already over-budget for the month because of the cat statue, I just splurged on the one rug. Speaking of that cat... I'm thinking of adding a mane made of plants, Chia Pet style, to turn it into a lion! Maybe lamb's ear and/or sedums? Can't wait to post the finished piece!

Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Thrifty Finds for Indoors and Out

Some recent thrifty finds:

 Plain little terra cotta pot at a yard sale, spraypainted it blue and added extremely low maintenance plants, for a really sunny spot. (The foot is from Hobby Lobby, I just love it except that there are no drainage holes.)

 Cool piece of wood, from a recent estate sale. I put it in the pond. Apparently a spider lives in it now... Or it was hiding in the society garlic here that I divided after this pic.

 Awesome fish pot! His tail is broken but that's ok. Same estate sale.

 And lastly from the estate sale (where my mom actually bought all this for me, isn't she the best?!), the wildflower poster at left and the nasturtiums at top right. I grouped them with this needlepoint 50¢ thrift store find, and love this wall in the kitchen now! I love decor that's cheerful, colorful, and from the 70s.

Annnnnd finally, we have the Giant Cat Statue! Found this oddity at the thrift store, and although $30 is a big purchase for me, it felt like a good deal for a huge garden statue! I plan to paint it in an interesting way... Something bright and colorful. Maybe just solid blue with some flower stencils, or one friend suggested mint green and gold. We'll see......

Thanks for looking!

Flowerbed Makeover!

My friend wanted to have her front flowerbeds spruced up. She's expecting a baby soon, so she wanted something low maintenance, and she likes marigolds. Other than that, she's not picky, which made it super fun for me to pick things out!

I don't normally get to buy any annuals, so that also made it fun. They're so colorful! I love petunias, especially the speckled blue ones in the square bed below.

As for perennials, I added pinata lavender, lamb's ear, dusty miller, purple heart, and some sedum. 

There are also lots of bulbs (2 kinds of lilies), seeds (zinnia and cosmos), and some existing mystery plants that might be daylilies. It should get way more colorful over the summer! She also had lots of cool seashells and little pieces of garden art that I spread around for display.


Anole!! And my disgusting gardening hands:


I'll try and take more pictures of this through the year.

One thing I didn't finish before I left, was planting a few things in the big pot on their porch. I got some great-smelling lavender and some honey-scented alyssum, for a little aromatherapy on the go.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Unedited Wide Shots, Bench Swing Cushion Solution

Just some quick & dirty pics, unedited. I wanna keep it real & not get too fancy with the filters! Plus, lazy.

The house! I've got mostly white flowers in this bed. That's white lantana and white Autumn sage all jumbled together. A new white climbing rose is planted by the trellis. Bright edge (?) yucca in the pot crowded with ruffly springtime weeds. 

Cool colors bed in left corner. Dormant or struggling (?) tiny zoysia lawn. It probably gets romped on too much. The bench swing! Here is a tip: if the cushions on your outdoor swing are falling apart, rip them off and weave a seat out of white vinyl covered clothesline. It's inexpensive and has held up perfectly, and doesn't get dirty and nasty like fabric.

Along the curb is mostly reds... Red/orange lantana, red Autumn sage, oxblood lilies, a new Double Delight rose, and a batface cuphea at far left to bridge the red and purple flower beds. Also Mexican feather grass. Just the sage is blooming now.

 Flagstone path, Chinese fringe flower, concrete bench and the mostly-orange-roses bed behind it. Flagstone scraps, edging bricks, stepping stones, mulch were all free. I redid most of the front yard by covering the old lawn in cardboard and mulch for a summer... I'll post about that process sometime. It worked amazingly, even despite the Bermuda. But only because I did it right, unlike in the back yard where the Bermuda has grown back. Oh... Bermuda grass... How I loathe thee. It almost made me give up gardening altogether last year, for serious.

 Back yard! Peach blossoms in front of the Mexican Ruins at dusk. The liriope between the chiminea pieces is pretty dead... I didn't 'plant' it so much as I dropped it there on top of the mulch, oops. This area should get a lot more colorful soon.

 Back yard facing the house, from under the pergola. The middle here looks great, to the left is the Unmulched Cardboard Wasteland of Construction and Bermuda Patches, with some fruit trees, blueberries and blackberries mixed in. Also the chain link fence engulfed in the horrid trumpet vine, which I'll call The Devourer. To the right of this shot is Kids' Area + my stockpile of junk like scrap lumber and fence panels. I'll use them eventually!

David the gnome! Finally found a gnome I liked, at Target for just $3! Just saw that Pam at Digging has a gnome in a pot, too. 

It's Spring Break here, and supposed to rain all week! My rose bushes are all getting buds, so I'll have to take some pics of the first blooms in the rain.

Thanks for looking!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Sedums, Flowering Quince, Dinosaur

 I love sedums! You just pinch off a piece, stick it in some dirt, and grow a whole new plant! Pay for one small pot at the store, and you can have it all around your yard almost instantly.
Here are a couple that look nice right now. This one on the left is evergreen. It has a pretty blueish tint to it, and will grow almost anywhere. It's done best in well-draining sandy soil, but is growing in clay here as well. Sun or shade. Wish I knew its name... I think the tag had just said "stonecrop".

The one one the right in the blue bucket is a hanging/creeping variety that gets really long! It dies back in the winter. The bucket will be totally covered by fall. It looks neat in a hanging basket... I'll take a picture of that later this year. I don't know its name, either, because it was given to me by a neighbor.
 In this fun broken pot are some winter-hardy hens and chicks, plus 2 more mystery sedums (one is just a tiny red dot at bottom right).

Raaarrrrrr! I think this dinosaur will live somewhere in the backyard once I get it finished. Right now he lives between the flowering quince and the nandina. The nandina shrub was here when we moved in. It's not something I would have picked out myself, and the Dirt Doctor has recently officially labeled them invasive, but I don't plan on trying to dig it up.

This quince has been a disappointment. It only flowers on the bottom of its branches. I just moved it to this new spot, so maybe it'll do better. Or maybe that's just how its variety blooms. I looove the other flowering quinces in the neighborhood. They're one of the first things to bloom in February. I noticed them back when I started getting interested in plants, and knocked on some people's doors to ask what they were. I still do that hee hee... People usually like to talk about their plants. I sure do!

Thanks for looking!