Relatively mild winters mean that we have better weather for major gardening projects in the winter than summer. It's also important to get plants established before the heat sets in. With that in mind I'm ready to start work on the gardening project list. Since the list is long we'll focus on projects with maximum impact.
Our first project this year is the driveway hellstrip -- 100' of neglected, rocky clay soil and fill along the concrete driveway.
Low maintenance is the priority for this spot. The original plan for a row of my favorite Texas Mountain Laurel (Sophora secundiflora) was revised when we found the shallow water lines run back about half way along the driveway. Limited digging depth means no trees. With all day sun and no irrigation I've chosen Silverado sage (Leucophyllum frutescens), Mexican feather grass (nasella tenuissima), and Red yucca (hesperaloe parviflora).
These plants are existing in the front yard and repeating them will visually unite the sections across the driveway.
We coordinated with the neighbors so the planting bed will go over to their driveway at the street to hide the water access ports. Plants will be kept low within 15' of the street for safety. A neighborly path through the bed will be included at a convenient spot.
There is a significant chance of rain Sunday or Monday and no freeze for the next 10 days so we planted the Silverado sage plants on Saturday.
These may look small now, but they will grow fast here and top out around six feet. We use one gallon plants most of the time since they are easier to plant. The hesperaloe parviflora will be installed soon and more plants in late February. The biggest challenge will be fighting the bermuda grass that has taken hold here.
Our neighbors drove up just as we finished and were very pleased to see progress since they've been looking at our boring garage door for 20 years.
There's a lot of work left, but it's so good to see a needed project get started.