This year's October 9th photo looks so much better because it's been a good year for rain and (relatively) cooler summer temperatures. Even though I now document progress throughout the year in this blog, I still plan to do this annual assessment.
Last year's photo for comparison below. We were just coming out of a combination of record drought and heat so this will hopefully be a low point of gardening in south Texas for many years. The yard looks so much better this year with the gold lantana and salvia greggii in bloom. The dead miscanthus was removed shortly after this photo was taken.
For 2012 I'm expanding the view with my new ultra wide-angle lens. This wider view will become part of the annual October 9th review.
I have given up on growing ornamental grasses in the small center island between the circle drive and sidewalk. The gulf muhly planted there in my re-gardening last spring did not grow well, required too much water and was disappointing overall.
The muhly has been replaced with three Yucca recurvifolia or soft-leaf yucca. If you are keeping track, that would be the "re-re-re-gardening" of this same spot over the last three years. Yucca was chosen because it can be ignored most of the year and leaves on this variety curve downward for fitting better in the narrow space. When it is mature, the plant will send up spikes of white bell-shaped blossoms. The gulf muhly has been relocated to the driveway bed where it is already much happier.
The biggest change this year is the driveway planting which turned out beautifully. We have been getting positive comments from the neighbors, quite a change since this was considered one of the worst yards in the neighborhoods for years. With the exception of the salvia greggii, these plants should look much the same through the winter.
So this October 9th update hopefully shows more changes than will be seen in future years. I plan to let the existing plants mature at this point which my husband is pleased to hear.