Apr 17 2012

Skullcap

Now, something not nursery related! (Although, we are very near completion of Nursery Phase 1… more posts on that in the near future…) This post is something I should have written up a year ago. But better late than never!

Do you remember when we dug up the ivy in our front yard? We found concrete planter boxes buried underneath the ivy and soil. Well, we decided to use them to plant some bushes in so that we had a nice line of plants along the walkway to the front porch. After consulting our garden expert (my mother-in-law) we decided to plant Skullcap, which is a flowering shrub which is native to this region. I had gotten a gift certificate to a local nursery for my birthday last February, so used it to buy enough Skullcap to line the two planters. Then, on a nice day in April last year, Kelly, my mother-in-law and the teenager got to work planting them.

First they got rid of all the weeds and roots in the planter beds


They lined them all up where they should be planted


Digging in


Jack helped



All planted and watered

Eventually, we’d love to break up that wide swath of concrete walkway with a more organic flagstone path. We love how wide the walkway is, it makes the house look so gracious.

Little did we know that when we planted them, we’d have a record-breaking drought over the summer, with over 100 days over 100 degrees and basically no rain.

But our little skullcaps were hardy plants! We didn’t water them a ton – just a good soak once every few weeks, like we did our Zoysia grass lawn (which is also adapted to high heat climates) – and they pulled through like champions. Only one plant died out of more than twenty that were planted.

A few months ago, my mother-in-law did a little guerrilla pruning and they began to bush out like crazy. Here’s hoping for some blooms this year!

All grown up!


Bushing out


Looking down the walkway


We only lost one plant over the summer


Apr 30 2011

Adding Color to Our Yard

It’s the promised gardening post!

So, when we first put down the grass back at the end of October, we left an area around the tree on the right hand side of the lawn grass-less. You can see that area in this picture:

We though that it might be nice to create a little flowerbed around the tree, as well as possibly create a path to the driveway – which there was when the ivy was in place, as you can see from this picture:

Front yard

(Ugh, that ivy!)

But we didn’t do anything right away, because, well, it was winter and not really the time to be planting flowers. So a whole lot of weeds decided they wanted to grow in that space instead:

But as the weather got warmer, gardening began to be on my mind more and more. One lovely weekend in early March, I went to Lowe’s on an errand and was struck by a particularly colorful display of plants arranged outside the entrance. The next day I went back and ended up buying a bunch of the plants I had seen – the begonias and the caladium, in their gorgeous purple and red and green – as well as some coleus, which had some more of the green and purple colors in it. I also got some mulch and potting soil.

Look at how gorgeous it all looks in the back of my car!

First I pulled out all the weeds, then I called my mother-in-law (the Texas certified master gardener) because I really had no clue what I was doing. She came over later, and along with Kelly and my brother-in-law Skip, we got all the plants in the ground.

Because the ground kind of slopes up on this side of the lawn, we discovered that we were going to need to create some kind of retaining wall on the side of this bed near the walkway. So Kelly and Skip hauled a bunch of the bricks from the pile in the back yard (left there by previous owners…) and created a little wall:

Look how much color we added to our front yard!

And now you can see how much it has grown after 3 weeks!