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Monday, January 11, 2010

Planning for Year Round Interest in the Garden

As I strolled around my garden last week, I realized that, while I do have some bright spots in the garden, there is so much more I can do to create some winter interest in the garden.  And I have a feeling that whatever I do to improve the garden in winter will also benefit the garden in summer.

There's not much I can do right now, of course, about the St. Augustine grass going dormant and creating a yellow blanket on the ground, but in the borders and (future) beds, there's a lot I can do to create some winter interest in the garden.

For example, right now, we have a vast expanse of (dormant) lawn, with a backdrop of beige wall, flanked on either side by bland fence.

Last year, we started work on the garden by creating a border along the back wall with stone left over by our home builder, but shortly after my husband moved what he swears was 27,000 tons of stone into position, I realized it wasn't deep enough to accomodate a multi-level shrubbery as I would like. All I had room for was a single row of (dwarf) bushes -- not exactly the effect I was looking for.

I hesitated to mention this to my husband... but after a few pointed comments he got the hint ;-) 

So at some point this spring, we're going to move the stone further out from the wall which will give me more room to have taller bushes in the back, and shorter plants in the front.

I've already got a few things planted. Among them:

Now I'm starting to think about what else can go in there. What I want are plants that will be as pleasant to look at in the winter as they are in the summer.  I especially love evergreens, but as I've been researching tonight, I've come across some that change color in the winter.  Others have berries etc., which of course the birds will enjoy eating as much as I enjoy looking at them.

Anyway, I'm not sure yet, but here are some possibilities for larger evergreen shrubs for the back of the border:

For the front of the border, I could choose:

And then, of course, I want to include flowers (annuals and perennials) to attract butterflies etc.

So now, as I enter these items on the Wishlist in my Garden Journal I can start some serious planning to get some interest in the garden that will last all the way from spring to winter!

Further information:
Texas A & M - Outstanding Shrubs for Texas
Texas A & M - Top Ten Landscape Perennials

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