Total Pageviews

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Big Picture - How Far We've Come

I've realized that most of my blog posts show close up photos of individual plants. I don't often show photos showing the "Big Picture."  So I was out with the camera today and decided to take photos showing how the garden is coming along, as well as a couple of photos of how it looked when I moved in in the summer of 2008.

As always, if you tap on the photo, you can view a larger version.

Let's start with the "before" photos -- the garden as it was landscaped by the builder.  A blank canvas, I guess you could call it.

Here's the front garden, freshly landscaped.  Several plants, including holly bushes and the tree closest to the camera here, ended up having to be replaced because they drowned.  But in all, the framework works for me.  I like the shape of the foundation bed along the front of the house.  

 In the back garden --- a vast expanse of sod and a vast expanse of cinder block wall.  The utility boxes are barely hidden by the holly bushes planted by the builder.  Most of these died too.

In the other corner of the garden -- the whole reason we selected this particular lot -- the mature pine tree which casts dappled shade across the garden as the sun moves across the sky.  

So -- that's what it looked like in 2008.  

Below are some photos of how it looks today:

 I don't think I conciously chose plants with blooms in the yellow/orange/red range.  It was more of an unconcious choice.  Daylilies, lantana, chrysanthemums and achillea provide most of the color in the front. 

I've started laying landscape stones across the front, to match the circles around the trees, but have only got about half way across.  The rest may have to wait until fall.

In the bed by the garage, more daylilies, as well as sweet potato vine growing on a wrought iron obelisk.

Another view of the front.  The tree on the right is one of original two that the builder planted.  The one of the left is one we planted to replace the one that drowned.  We were very careful to make the hole big enough and to improve the drainage for it and it's rewarding us by growing robustly and even hosting a Mockingbird nest.

  Here's momma Mockingbird (or possibly papa, I really don't know!)

And here are the babies -- this photo was taken May 18... 

And this was taken on May 25...  my, how they have grown!

Moving around to the back garden, my plan originally was to get rid of the "wall to wall carpet" of lawn and I'm making headway on that slowly.  As you walk through the gate and into the back garden, this is the view that greets you.  I really like this view.

This is my view from the dining room or from the patio. The wall has been a challenge, especially in this area which is full of pine roots and therefore not suitable for planting.  For now I have some "Tropi-canna's" in containers but I'm probably going to build a raised section along the wall and get some vines growing.

This view looks toward the utility boxes, again from the patio.  Only two of the original holly bushes remain.  The white lattice fence I found a Lowe's does a great job of hiding the utility boxes.

The lawn isn't looking great here -- this is probably the worst area in the garden.  But I think eventually I will build an island bed here, connecting the two trees we added (a peach and a river birch) and maybe even linking up with the pine tree.  That way there would be a mowing path around the edge of the garden and the rest would be beds.

It's getting hot out there already -- supposed to be in the mid-90's all weekend, so I think I'll take up position in the dining room and watch the birds.  Such as this red-bellied woodpecker, facing off with a white winged dove over who gets the birdseed.  The woodpecker won, by the way!

Words and photographs by Jayne Wilson, Green and Serene, Jayne's Country Garden.


KK said...

Wow...Jayne I like pics showing the big picture. It makes it easy to connect the closeups to the surrounding areas. I must say that it is beautiful. I love how your beds in front have softened the house like outside "decorating." By the way, your home is gorgeous! I'm so happy that you have another bird family. Since my wrens this spring, I am hooked on birdwatching now. I like your curves in the back beds too. Great picture of the dove and woodpecker. After my wrens left, I put up a bird feeder and water so I can view it from my desk. I was alarmed to see grey and white birds (not sure their name yet) that are bigger than my wrens, knocking my little wrens off the feeder almost every single time they come. You should have heard me chastizing them! I am a little prejudice because I love my little wrens and the bigger birds are being mean to them! I woke up this morning hearing a woodpecker. It sounded like he was drilling into the house! GREAT post Jayne. Have a wonderful holiday weekend.

KK said...

Sorry Jayne...its me again.... When I try to reply to you about comments you leave on my blogposts that I receive though email, it says no-reply blogger. Do you know this? Is that how you want it? Just curious if you get my replies to what you have commented about.

Maia said...

You have a beautiful home Jayne and you've really come far with the garden.
Plants need time to establish and to grow.

Thanks for the overview, I really wanted to see the whole picture of your garden.

Lynn said...

Jayne, your gardening is coming along very nicely. I have a lot of yellow/orange/red colors in the garden too - these colors stand up well to the strong Texas sunlight. The mockingbirds are pretty but I'm glad I don't have any here. Been dive bombed by a few over the years.

Ami said...

Jayne: I always love to see big picture of the garden, since it really gives the perspective of the design. Wow, what a beautiful transformation you have made! I love those stone borders, and your choice of plants are also beautiful. I can imagine when you build a central island to link the trees together will make the garden more inviting. Looking forward to more pictures when your beautiful garden evolves!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Jayne,
I enjoyed the tour. Your planting beds are looking great!

Jayne said...

Thanks for your comments everyone. I haven't been able to get around blogs this week, but will spend some time visiting you all tomorrow :-)