Scenes from the March Garden Part 1

Emerging growth, purchases, transplants, and more!


Some views of the front yard beds:

What’s blooming? (Excuse some of the out of focus shots.)


Start of a new project…installing flagstone on the patio side of the house:


Late spring blooms

Despite all the excitement that 2 new furbabies introduces to the household, I did still get to witness some really cool blooms decorating our new front yard landscape. The tall red cypress, red columbine, Crimson Pirate daylilies, and Picasso callas are just some of the vivid sights now showing their colors. Even the waterlogged gardenia managed to push out some blooms…

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The highly anticipated Pumpkin Pie Coreopsis in bud and bloom was slightly disappointing for appearing mostly like a typical tickseed, just with a little more orange in color:

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Yard crash progress as of 3/28

It was a back-breaking, sore-all-over labor to work the north-side shade bed and start the task of planting groundcovers and creepers in the stone pathway. But we accomplished a lot over the weekend, including our final tree selections @ Chambersville: a shantung maple and a Viridis japanese maple, both 30 gallon specimens. Due to the wet weather so far, Chambersville won’t be able to deliver our new trees until sometime mid-April.

Before pictures:

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After pictures:

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We mulled over the idea of adding blue glass to the marble rock river winding down to the path from the gutter. The man also wanted to add a marble rock feature to the front bed, but I’m not as open to the idea.

Plantings in the north bed: Carex Everillo, Hosta Fire and Ice, Astilbe (x5), Lime Marmalade heuchera, Foxtail fern, Cedar Sage, White Star caladiums (x3), White Splash geranium, green oxalis (white-flowered), Hort Couture Glitterati Ice Queen, wild red columbine, Sugar Plum heuchera, Japanese painted fern, Hort Couture Plum Crazy oxalis, Contessa Burgundy geranium, black mondo grass.

Plantings in the north path: Platt’s Black brass buttons, scotch moss, irish moss, variegated oregano, roman chamomile, Grace Ward lithiodora, Archer’s gold lemon thyme.

Cosmos, hostas, marigolds, petunias and more

My Stokes seeds order arrived. It had probably been sitting in the mailbox a few days before we finally got around to emptying it. Since something had been digging up the tree ring bed, L had to replant a few uprooted marigolds so proceeded to sow the cosmos anyway. The first wave of cosmos seedlings are of course up and growing, some faster than others. I’m hoping at 500 seeds a packet, the tree ring will now get full coverage on cosmos. Now if the Ladies in Red will start blooming already. I’m beginning to think that starting them from seed so late might have been a mistake; but impatience isn’t a good trait for a gardener. I’ll have to satisfy myself with the coral nymph blooms for now, although I’m worried they’ll overrun the other salvia. I’d also like to get that outer ring improved with the remainder of the marigold seedlings and thyme cuttings, but they’ve been slow to propagate. I might have to take some golden oregano cuttings to add to the tree ring.

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The hostas getting afternoon sun are taking a beating. All three varieties has suffered some damage. Combined with the daily buffet assault, they are half their foliage since spring. Even the supposedly sun-tolerant Gold Standard hosta isn’t able to withstand that grueling afternoon sun. I am thinking about installing some sun-friendly perennials in that corner of the shade bed to see if it will provide some relief. But can a sun perennial survive there given the brief afternoon exposure?

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What’s up with all these ornamental kale? They’re about 2 feet tall now; they seem to like the mostly shade front door bed. Our poor gardenia, still struggling all these months, is making the stand of kale look bad. Of course, the dried out pansies are doing a better job of making this bed look unkempt. I need perennials in this bed, getting weary of switching it out every season.

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Check out the chili pepper–it’s loaded with blooms. I expect a good harvest of chilis from this thing. The cinderblock herb garden is filling out nicely, while the purple bed is starting to look overrun. I need some ornamental black peppers in there! I wish my seedlings weren’t so puny.

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More of my petunia seedlings are blooming….but what’s the deal? Are the rest of them purple??? I was expecting to see at least one red seedling, but so far I’ve seen one white and nearly half a dozen purple buds. So much for my patriotic planter. At least the caladium is looking good, even if one of the leaves appears half eaten.

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6/9/2011 Thai Basil Blooms The thai basil is flowering. I really need to snip it down to size…they are making the other basil look puny. They look lovely with their red-purple stems and bud crowns, but they seem to outgrow the other basil. Very much suited to our hot Texas summers.

6/9/2011 Azaleas in lily bedAnd here’s what’s left of the azaleas in the lily bed. I kept the dwarf gumpo white and the Hot Shot red azalea. The gumpo azalea didn’t produce any blooms this year, whereas Hot Shot produced a handful. Is this typical of $2 shrubs? The gumpo gets one more shot at impressing me next year; otherwise it’s out of there. I did like that Hot Shot came out of the winter with dark maroon foliage before it lightened up by the end of spring. I must remember to keep the neighboring Hot Lips salvia pruned back to give the azalea some more light.

A quick look at the May front yard

Now we have another Victoria Blue salvia blooming on the far end of the front flower bed. So that makes for two flowering salvia farinacea that have returned from last year. There are yet 2 more young Victoria Blues that have been slow to come up. I don’t mind their slow return, which saves me from purchasing more, but the man wants that extra pop right now.

Talk about slow…the gardenia has new leaf sets, despite that it has lost about 75% of its foliage. It survived the bitter winter frost, which is amazing in itself. I don’t want to prune it back because there is evidence of new life on it. It’s going to be a very slow recovery.

One of the Confetti lantana is putting on a set of buds. Its sibling about a foot away has been more interested in trailing rather than flowering. I also had some criticism for the man for planting the vinca seedlings so close to each other. They grew into monsters last year, and I don’t expect it to be any different this year.

The man trimmed back our centerpiece loropetalum in this front bed, just to give it some shape for the rest of the year. I am interested in seeing it grow higher, but I won’t begrudge it a little width to shade the tiny impatiens seedlings at its feet. The man also hacked down the Hot Lips salvia…that thing has grown into a monster in the front bed and is in constant need of pruning. We did finally get another Hot lips planted next to the Autumn Twist azalea and expect the same vigorous growth this year.

Notice the verbena colors? Maybe I don’t need Mosaic after all. The Dallas Star daylilies are heavily laden with scapes!

Finally, my newest heuchera seems a little lonely in its corner of the shade bed, but I hope it will be happy there. It has a caladium bulb for a neighbor…although I can’t say that I don’t want to plant another hosta next to it.

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