Friday, March 8, 2013

One More Time....

Here we are at Friday again...already.

We've had another busy week.

You know how little kids love to be swung around?
How they don't want to stop, and yell, "One more time!"?

Well....I'm beginning to feel like the gardens here are little kids,
and we're the adults swinging them around.
And, they keep yelling, "One more time!"

This is the way the front looked, the first time we visited this house.
This is July, 2008.

Don't you just love that power box thing?  Great addition to curb appeal.

But, we're here to look at that front bed.  Lush groundcover (vinca),
 boxwood, an old Viburnum, and some old Nandina.
I knew right away I wanted to change all that.

The previous owner must have poured a LOT of water on this...
and the St. Augustine grass...
to make it all this green in July.


Fast forward to 2010.  
2009 was spent mostly upgrading the inside of this 40 year old house.

The groundcover didn't fair too well, during the drought and heat of the
summer of 2009.  I wasn't too sad about it.  I wanted something different.
But, most of what you see above didn't make it, either.


So, the Miscanthus that didn't make it, was replaced with a Soft Leaf Yucca.
The Blue Fescue was traded for some dwarf Yaupon Holly.
Not a very good photo.  You have to look closely.


Last year, we redid the Island Bed.  Ripped out the groundcover that always looked ratty,
and planted some really drought tolerant things.


And, we built the Driveway Bed.  That's changed since then, too.
But, I digress....

Late March, 2012

The front bed was looking pretty good.


I was feeling pretty smug.  This all made it through the 
2011 'Summer From Hell'. 
 (Sorry, but that's how it felt.)

What do they say?
Something about pride going before a fall?
Well, Fall here didn't look all that great.
Another dry, hot summer.  NOT as bad as 2011.
But, bad enough.  It all adds up.

And then, there are the sweet little deer.

Remember back in January when I was whining about the deer...again?
Well, I didn't show you the Viburnum and Nandina.
Yes, they...or she....chomped that, too.
I wanted them out anyway, but this pushed us to decide.

So, Mr. P. ripped them all out.
Lovely, huh?
I especially like the downspout thing running across the bed, that we should have had buried...
but, didn't.

Then, we hauled off to that garden center on South Congress.
(Hint: Great Outdoors)

There's still a way to go, before we're finished with this round.
But, it looks better.

There needs to be something behind the Sabal Minor.
I'm thinking Bamboo Muhly, but haven't decided.
What do you think?

The boxwood are staying.  It would look just too naked, without them.

Need more mulch, and redo the soaker hose.
We're taking the stepping stones along the house, to the porch.
There's that much room....

I'm hoping those dwarf hollies finally do something.

But, so far, so good.
No chomping, no shredding...semi-success.

But, it's never DONE.
There could possibly be "One more time!".
This starting over EVERY YEAR, does wear one down.

Then, of course, there's the other bed I want out here
(I'm a glutton for punishment.),
and, the path around the house, and.....

So, we'll probably 'stick' to it.

  I'm pretty sure this yucca won't get to stay here. piece for the new bed?


Whew!  I seem to have made a novel out of this post.
Sorry about that.

It's misting here.  And, we have a chance of rain for the weekend.
Hope they're right this time.

Have a great weekend.

Happy Gardening...


  1. Love the yucca! It's been a tough few years to garden in central Texas hasn't it? We both moved in during the summer of 2008.

    I like the idea of bamboo muhly to soften the palms. I've had some out in deer territory for a year now to test and they haven't bothered it at all.

    I think removing the boxwoods and planting something lower would give you a more updated look there. Removing old foundation shrubs is currently promoted a lot but it is a matter of what you prefer. Their best asset is they are one of the few deer proof plants.

    1. Those boxwoods were going to be one of the first things I wanted removed. Then, we noticed they block the view of that lovely power box, out the front door. So, they'll probably stay for now.

      They seem to hold up to neglect, and the deer don't eat them. More and more, the plants on my favorites list are the ones the deer don't like....whether I really like the plant, or not. :)

  2. Huge improvement. Definitely more interesting to look at and easier on your water bill. We have a row of shrubs in full shade that I'm ready to pull out. I'm just trying to find xeric, full shade plants. Hope you have a fantastic weekend.

    1. Thanks.

      Shade is another of our challenges here. That bed gets plenty sun in winter, when the Cedar Elms are bare. But, summer it only gets slanted sun, early morning and late afternoon.

      It's hard to figure out what to plant, when you have to deal with drought, cold, heat, shade and deer. And, I'm too hard-headed to give up.

  3. Hi Linda....WOW, you've made so much progress and it looks wonderful!! I think as long as we have gardens, we're always going to be changing things! I can't wait to see more pictures of these beds!

    1. Thanks. I'm sure there will be more changes. It seems to be a given here.

  4. Thanks for showing your progress over time - and regardless of those "sweet little deer", I think you're winning big time. Really nice each step of the way. The driveway area, both sides, that you did recently really pops!

    1. It's fun to look back, and see the progress. It's coming along.

      I don't think I've ever had such a challenging place to garden, though.

  5. It can be hard to establish plants under the best of circumstances, but between the deer and the drought, you've got it doubly hard. I admire your persistence, and how you turn failures into opportunities to try new things. Your latest work looks great! What is the name of the yucca in your final picture?

    1. Thanks. It's likely not the last incarnation.

      That is a Yucca aloifolia, Spanish Bayonet. It'll get too big for that spot. But, it'll be a good centerpiece for the new bed I want to make. It's pretty vicious. I think those leaves could actually be used as weapons.

  6. When in doubt use more rocks! That's my motto. I know they chomp a little on yaupon hollies but they work wonders in a deer garden. Also some larger agaves like Weber's. They haven't eaten mine although they have had a go at one spineless prickly pear. I much prefer the look you have now to the 'everyone else has this' look. Yes, bamboo muhly would look nice and feathery. The rain we will get tonight should help out a little. Fingers crossed.
    PS I love your header. How did you do this. I messed up with mine and now I can't get a photo in there.

  7. Don't worry - nothing is ever done. As soon as it's 'done', you'll find something else to change.

  8. I like the idea of the bamboo muhly. I recently saw a mature border of that spilling over a low rock wall in Austin and it was so handsome! I'm planning to borrow that idea and do the same outside my fence where the deer have eaten or broken everything else I've tried. All the changes you have made are definite improvements. Was the vinca just back-breaking to dig out? I'm still pulling vestiges of mine out after 5 years!

    1. We had someone come to dig the vinca out of the Island Bed. The rest had died back so much, it wasn't that bad. We had Asia jasmine at our last place. That's almost impossible to get rid of.

      We still have some vinca here and there. I keep it cut back, and so far it's ok. Sooner or later, it's all coming out.

  9. Thanks for everyone's comments.
    I think we'll definitely go with the Bamboo muhly.

    We have more projects we want to do. Let me restate that...I have more projects. Mr. P goes along..reluctantly. But, when we have to REdo every year, it slows down the new projects. :(


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