I’ve known you guys for a little over three years now. I think it’s finally time to introduce you to my secret shame.
BAM! That’s the overgrown landscaping in the front of my house. It was originally installed by the builder, and I swear that they just randomly put in whatever was on sale at the nursery that day. It was just plain ugly.
And then on top of the randomness, a morning glory started growing and completely overtook a bi-color iris. Once a week, I’d try to pull this thing out by its root, and each week it would come back even more powerful. I’m pretty sure that this one vine could have taken over the entire world if I would have let it.
For all of our DIY prowess, my husband and I hate working in the yard. It’s hot! And there’s dirt. And one time I saw a spider with a sack of eggs on her back, and it sent me over the edge. So, our landscape overtook our front beds like a wild kingdom.
Last summer, we decided that enough was enough. We had a landscaper pull out of the plants in our beds, till the soil (which is clay, by the way) and add in some landscape fill. If you might remember, we were in a mega drought last summer, and he advised that we not replace the plants until we started getting some rain again.
Fast forward to last month (yes, we left the beds completely empty for about 9 months). I started doing tons of research online and in different books dedicated to landscaping in our region. I measured the beds and made a plan of exactly what types of plants I wanted to put in what location. And then, I started digging and planting.
Do you spy my dog?
Over the course of two weeks, I visited local nuseries five different times. I wanted to only buy a few plants at a time so that I didn’t overwhelm myself by trying to do it all in one day.
On each side of the column on the front of our house, I planted a crossvine. I am absolutely obsessed with these vines! I’ve seen them growing sporadically on the stone fence that surrounds a nearby neighborhood, and I am just so in love with them. In March, they are covered with gorgeous, trumpet-shaped tangerine blooms. The rest of the year, they are hardy and semi-evergreen.
In the long part of the bed, I snaked an array of dwarf mock orange shrubs. I used the curves in the snake to showcase groupings of annual color, which are zinnias (orange, yellow and white) and impatients (red). I love the mix of the lighter shades of the blooms on my perennials combined with the hot shades in my annuals.
In the mini bed in between our sidewalk and wall to the garage, I put in four Louisiana Irises, two Wonder Flowers, a dwarf mock orange and another crossvine under my Texas Star obelisk. I’m really not sure how those irises are going to do, but I thought I’d give them a shot.
I also found what may be my favorite plant EVER to put in a pot by my front door. It’s called a shrimp plant. Doesn’t its blooms look just like shrimp?
I’m proud to announce that I survived the dirt and didn’t see a single spider while I was putting in tons of plants. I did, however, see tons of earthworms, which is awesome (as I understand it). I’m really excited to see how this landscape design grows in over the next few years.
I am now doing whatever I can to keep these plants alive. I’m watering them every morning, and when they are well established, I’ll switch to three times a week. I’ve fed them and marked on my calendar when it’s time to feed them again. I’ve mulched them and am pulling any weeks that poke through.
Now, I need your advice! I would reckon that 99% of you know more about gardening and maintaining beds than I do. Do you have any more tips for me or suggestions on other things I should be doing? And please don’t let that answer be that I shouldn’t have planted a certain species. That will make me cry!