It took a gargantuan effort to uproot 5 stumps and move several hundred pounds of border rock around, but the job was done. With a little more effort and if the weather permits, the front beds will be prepped to receive new residents by next weekend. And it seems we have plenty of landscaping stone to re-purpose in the courtyard beds.

I’ve been pondering investing in seed starter kits (possibly a Park Seed Bio Dome) and a heat mat to start some dianthus seeds that I’ve had my eye on. Super Parfait Red Peppermint, Dianthus Valentine and Diana Blueberry from Burpee Seeds, and the Ideal series developed by PanAmerican seed (also sold by Harris Seeds). I also think I’d save some money growing my own coleus from seed (Carefree or Wizard Mix) and get the colors/cultivars I want, without spending too much at the nursery. Of course, it all depends on the seed-starting equipment.

Another plant I’d like to add to the garden, though I’m not sure how hardy it is to survive the Texas heat. The variegated gardenia may be more suitable to an indoor environment, but with all the shade in our current landscape, it might possibly thrive with some attention.

My gardening wishlist doesn’t get any shorter. I’m still shy several types of salvia, an Ever Red lorapetalum (in addition to the white-flowered kind that I’d like for the front beds) and a pieris japonica caught my eye. Japanese pieris Flaming Silver or the Variegated kinds favor part shade, and I suspect they could do well in our courtyard beds.