Here's a photo from last fall before she began removing the roses and making changes. My post from spring 2012 will show more of how the garden looked back then.
Most of the roses went to a local gardener willing to treat for chilli thrips who happily dug and transported more than 40 plants after they went dormant over the winter. Those of us who had enjoyed Ragna's garden with the roses were wondering how it would look without them. The roses were the centerpiece of her garden and at the time it was hard to imagine how the garden would look as good with fewer roses.
I visited the garden in December and took some "before" photos which are "after" Ragna undid much of the garden by removing the roses. This a good opportunity to see the structure and layout of her garden. You can also see the use of bright color adds so much to the winter garden.
In order to prepare this large bed near the patio for the new, less thirsty plants, Ragna and husband Bob spent several weeks adding decomposed granite, a form of gravel, into the soil to improve drainage.
By April of 2013 the new scheme was beginning to fill in with the larkspur.
To keep all the larkspur blooms blue, Ragna pulls the other colors so only the blue reseed.
The new plants are filling in near the shed
Jumping forward a few months to summer 2013, xeric plants and ornamental grasses have replaced the roses which previously filled this area near the wood tuteur.
Ornamental grasses like this Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Little Bunny' are blooming in the sunny part of the garden.
In the center of the garden you might not notice too many changes right away because the phlox are the focus of the summer garden.
The Phlox are incredible this year
John Fanick's Phlox, named for a local nurseryman, was discovered in an older neighborhood in San Antonio.
Ragna says her garden has never looked better. I think it always looks good.
It's interesting to see how this cactus has grown in such a short time.
Ragna has added more succulents and xerophytic plants like this Dyckia 'Burgundy Ice', I loved the color on this one and it is supposed to be quite hardy.
Plenty of creatures to entertain in the garden
Bougainvillea gorgeous as ever
It wouldn't be summer without bugs
There haven't been a lot of changes in the front but I thought you would enjoy seeing how it looks this summer.
This is the neighbor's driveway which Ragna planted.
She also planted this part of the neighbor's side yard which runs along the walkway to her backyard.
Narrow cactus fits in the side yard.
One last view of the back garden I want to show you and it is the first view of the back garden I see each visit. When walking to the front door visitors can see right through that big front window on the right and across the house into the back garden.
The view to the back garden is a stunning sight. Because a photo through the window doesn't show up quite as well as it does in person, Ragna generously let me take the photo below from inside the house near the window to show you the lovely view.
Following changes in the garden are fun and also show the importance of a good layout which allowed Ragna and Bob to accomplish a substantial transformation of their garden in an incredibly short time.