Thursday, July 31, 2014

End of Month View July 2014

A big surprise during this summer of 2014 has been the weather.  In my End of Month View for June I wrote about our relatively cooler temperatures along with rain, and that weather pattern continued into July allowing plenty of time to finish up a few projects.  It's time for a walk through the gardens to see how things are going, so in this post I'm joining Helen at The Patient Gardener for the End of Month View to look at the progress.

Most days still begin with a cloudy sky that burns off through the morning as the sun casts shadows on the east facing front of the house.



The view from the north entrance to the driveway shows the landscaping sweeps around with the shape of the drive.


The silvery plants in the recently improved gravel bed are joined by white blooms of Plumbago.



The shade garden to the right of the front walk was replanted in June and is growing in among newly completed walkways.  You can find the "before" photos here.


The view out from the front door is of a woodsy, shaded garden.


The Texas sage has begun blooming along the driveway.  Just over 3" of rain on 18 July triggered the first significant sage blooms of the year.


One hundred feet of purple blooms!


Through the back gate the refurbished buffalo grass lawn is looking good.  The bare patches have been filled with transplanted grass from behind the wire fence, and a new wildflower area was created as a result.  The grass typically brown and dormant at this point but is still very green.


The area to the right of the gate is beginning to fill in with random plantings of rooted cuttings from friends and other parts of my garden.  The big yucca was shared by a neighbor and is strategically placed to discourage deer from jumping the fence.  It seems to be working and we haven't seen deer limping around the front yard for a while.



The tank garden is growing in and getting a bit wild.  Might need to do some taming this fall.  I've been researching ways to add a bit more structure without changing the character of the garden.


We get so much sun in the summer the bougainvillea blooms in the shade.  Soon I'll remove that tomato cage so the bougainvillea can grow up on the old iron door recently placed there.


So what's behind that deer fence?  That's a crimson passion vine growing on the post and a grape vine peeking through the fence in front of it.


A row of Pomegranate 'Wonderful' trees and a collection of deer favorites like Macho Mocha Manfreda and roses.  You'd never guess this was one of the worst sun-baked spots in the yard a few years ago.


In the other corner the Pride of Barbados are blooming and the deer have not eaten the blooms off yet this year.


That just might be due to the detour fence of cedar posts constructed across the pathway at the corner.


Over on the south side of the house the native sedge planted along the stone path in May has been mulched which has improved this area.  They are slow growing so it will be a while before they show significant progress.


My traditional ending for the garden review post is the view through the back gate as the sun sinks in the west.


You can find a tour of Helen's beautiful garden and links to more virtual garden tours in the comments section of The Patient Gardener's Weblog.

27 comments:

  1. Your garden is looking beautiful Shirley, with fabulous views and vistas. That last photo looks great with all those tree trunks bent into great shapes naturally. The tank garden looks great with the plants grown a bit wild like that.

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    1. It is very much Texas style with the native plants going wild. The arching is a signature look of the native live oaks in our neighborhood which is well known for its trees. The fabulous vistas are borrowed and enjoyable.

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  2. I have watched your garden for over two years and this year is , by far, the best.

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    1. Thank you Randy, we began the garden in 2009 and the weather has been challenging ever since. This year is a welcomed relief.

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  3. Shirley, it all looks so nice and inviting. And so not July. The temperature is supposed to drop into the low 60s tonight. I may turn off the AC and open some windows.

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    1. We are getting cooler the next few days also. It does look inviting, much more so than a lawn with mustache hedges. We are seeing fewer of those each year too.

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  4. Of course, I like the Bismarckia palm in the back, and happy it is there with those amazing oaks. Even if your occasional cooler winter keeps it back, that seems OK with those huge fronds. The driveway edge you showed me when younger, so soft yet so space-defining...like tame and wild together.

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    1. Credit to your and your blog posts showing how to design narrow spaces and the importance of using plants that work best. All I had to do then was select the least expensive, common easily grown plants for my area and repeat them down the line.

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  5. Really serene and inviting! I love the purple flowers and grey leaves of the Texas sage.

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    1. It is a pretty combination. It is so pleasant to come home to the pretty garden now.

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  6. Looks great.
    Your garden has really come a long way.

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    1. Thank you Linda. We have put in a lot work the last few years so it might be time to take a break soon.

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  7. Everything is looking lovely! That image with the blooming Pride of Barbados is dreamy.

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    1. They are swamping the agave which is quite large.

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  8. My Bougainvillea died over the winter and I didn't have a clue how to save it. Yours looks great. I like that woodsy view out the front. I usually think of your garden as being very sunny, with all that talk of the Texas Death Star. But it looks wonderfully shady and cool. I think we may have imported some of your heat up here to the PNW, it's been hotter than usual here.

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    1. They do go dormant and look dead over the winter so I stick them in the garage until spring. Sometimes they don't come back. Both sun and shade along with combinations throughout the garden make it fun to have different plant areas. The cool front has dipped all the way to South Texas and it is nice here.

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  9. Such a lovely color on the bouganvillea: a refreshing alternative to bright magenta. All the paths and walkways give a wonderful sense of structure. I like the wildness of the tank garden in contrast.

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    1. Tropical orange, they have so many different ones now from white to magenta and I enjoy all of them.

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  10. Your garden looks marvelous--the Texas sage is just wonderful. Thanks for the tour.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it Hoov.

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  11. Your garden certainly seems to be enjoying the lower summer temperatures and the increased rain, Shirley. We've been getting some of that monsoonal moisture but, although a few nearby areas got a spit of rain, my garden has received none.

    I love the Texas sage. I put one shrub in more than a year ago and, although it's not dead, it hasn't grown much and it looks peaked - nothing like the lush forms in your yard or even those I've seen growing near our local fire station. I'm not sure what I've done wrong but perhaps I'll try moving it or putting in another in a different location.

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    1. The Silverado Sage is a special cultivar grown for its dense form and prolific flowering. There are several other newer types that work better than the original native version. Given that it is sunny and dry this year it should be doing well for you.

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  12. I think I've mentioned before that I really like your gravel pathways--very nicely done! You have so many beautiful plants blooming and thriving right now--I'm glad you've had a good July. (That large swath of Texas Sage is impressive!)

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  13. That Texas Sage is incredible! I love your gravel pathways too, and your garden has a lovely feel to it. I really like the tank garden.

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  14. Your garden is growing so well. Love seeing your purple cactus full of tunas and how the backyard has really filled out! Nice job.

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  15. The new gravel walkways look great! It really cleaned up the look of your shaded beds. I also love your mass plantings of Texas sage out front - such a statement at this time of year with the beautiful purple and silver colors.

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  16. I have followed your garden for a while now and I can see how all your hard work has transformed it, I especially like all the paths and walkways and fences surrounding your plants – making the plants look so much more beautiful. And I so envy you 100 yards of plants, whatever the plant is, but the Texas sage is a stunner!

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