Taking a page from Helen's End of the Month yearly garden recap over at The Patient Gardener, I wanted to reflect on all the progress I've made in my gardens this year. Thanks to Helen's End of the Month meme, I have a collection of photos throughout the year on how all of my gardens have transformed over the seasons. It is pretty amazing to look back and see all the gardens I added, as well as how the plants have matured during the year. Here is a look at my garden beds throughout the year...
WARNING: A lot of garden pictures are included below. Reader beware.
The veggie bed had its most productive year yet, raking in over 75 pounds of fresh produce. The tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, and cucumbers were especially productive during the summer months.
The butterfly bed is a wild and crazy bed. It has a little bit of everything in it, from lantana to wildflowers, to perennials to annuals, all with the hope of attracting butterflies and hummingbirds, which it was quite successful at this year, even though it isn't the prettiest kept bed.
This bed started with some gladiolas, a couple irises, one or two dahlias, a few daylilies and calla lilies, and a handful of Black-Eyed Susans. I added a bunch more irises later in the year, some daffodils, and some oxblood lilies. I plan to add more dahlias in the spring.
Shade Tree Bed
One of the new beds this year was the shade tree bed. We had the stonework laid and then filled it with rich soil and compost. Next, a variety of shade-loving plants were added, including Turk's cap, American beautyberry, Texas gold columbine, shrimp plant, lithrope, pigeonberry, oxalis, astilbe, spider plant, and purple heart. I still have room to add some more plants and would like to add some more evergreen species.
This was another new bed this year and primarily became the herb bed. I also have an artichoke, some society garlic, irises, spider lilies, alliums, and poppies planted. The herbs in the ground definitely survived drought, heat, and freezing temperatures better than the container herbs. I will try to move more of my herbs to this bed going forward so that they are longer-lasting.
Big changes happened along the neighbor fence line this year. Most notably, we lost a tree in a bad wind storm. The tree had been rotting on the inside. I'm gonna blame the drought on the death of that guy. In the new bed that was added all along the fence, I planted a duranta, Belinda's Dream rose, Garnet Sash pomegranate, gardenia, irises and divided my canna lilies for a bigger effect. I still have plenty of room along the fence and hope to get more rose bushes planted this coming spring.
My triplet bed, which surrounds the peach tree, was added this year. So far, I've planted an Artic Frost Satsuma, tropical milkweed, fall aster, irises, coneflower, mistflower, lavender, paperwhites, amaryllis, larkspur and poppies. I can't wait to see what these beds look like come spring.
The front bed got a landscaping overhaul this year. Limestone was re-arranged and mason work done. River rock stones were added for a xeriscape look. Various salvia plants were added, along with guara, rock rose, spineless prickly pear, red yucca, lantana, and vitex.
Front Fence Line
This is another new bed this year where I planted black-foot daisies, plumbago, coral honeysuckle, thryllis, purple fountain grass, Mystic Blue salvia, copper canyon daisy and a butterfly bush. The plants didn't grow much this year, but I'm expecting the bed to really fill out next year.
Left House Border
Our front house borders were also redone this year since they had completely been overrun with Bermuda grass over the past year. In this bed, I already had various salvias and some Texas sage, along with an oleander. Some purple, yellow, and cotton candy lantana were added along with some bi-color iris, rosemary, Mexican salvia, and skullcap. These plants really took off this year and quickly filled in the bed. They put on quite a show in September will all their colors.
Right House Border
Similar to the front left house border, the right side was redone this year. We added river stone to keep the Bermuda grass infestation to a minimum and added some rosemary, salvias and sages, spineless prickly pear, lantana, skullcap, and bi-color iris. So far, it is filling out quite nicely.
2014 brought a lot of growth to my Central Texas garden. I can't wait to see what 2015 brings!