Saturday, February 28, 2015

End of Month View - February 2015

February was a whirlwind of extreme temperatures - ranging from days close to 80 degrees, all the way down to lows in the mid 20s.  On the weekends of beautiful weather, I seemed to be in the garden all weekend, making obvious signs of improvement along the way.  The last couple of weekends have been nothing but wet and hovering around freezing, bringing spring-prep gardening chores to a halt for the time being.

Veggie Beds

There hasn't been too many changes in the veggie bed over the last month.  I continue to harvest lots of winter greens.  I cleaned up a couple of the beds that had left-over debris from last summer/fall and did some major Bermuda grass weeding in the beds (once they are in there, you never can fully get rid of them).  I also planted a few new seeds for spring harvests including some lettuce, kale, spinach and green onions.

Shade Tree

Before the cold weather hit, I ordered a LOT of mulch and started spreading it around the garden.  The shade tree got a fresh new layer of the native mulch after a major weeding session.  I didn't quite finish the job, so I'll need to complete the mulch-laying once temps warm up again (and more importantly, once it is dry again).


The parsley in the herb bed is pretty much out of control at this point.  I can't seem to use enough of it before it is producing more leaves.  I need the swallowtail caterpillars to come back and help me keep it in check.  The purple hyacinth bulbs have also broken through, though I haven't seen any blossoms yet.

Triple Threat

In these flower beds, the poppy rosettes are getting larger and the larkspurs and some other wildflowers that were planted last fall are starting to pop up.  Some bulbs, ranunculus and narcissus, are sprouting up.  I also planted several foxglove plants in this bed.  I'm not sure how they will do, since they aren't fans of hot weather, but I'm hoping I'll be able to enjoy their English garden feel for at least a good portion of the spring.


The pomegranate bed also got a new layer of mulch over most of the bed.  I still need to finish the job once things warm up a bit.  The spring bulbs are also starting to push through here, including the ranunculus, narcissus, and even a few tulips.

Neighbor Fenceline

While still bare, there has been a lot done to this bed to prep for the roses that will inhabit the area in the future.  I did some major weeding, turned in several bags of compost into the soil as well as laid down fresh mulch.  A couple volunteer blue bonnet rosettes have been left, otherwise the bed is a clean slate for my future rose collection.

Bulb Bed

Not much to report here.  I'm anxiously awaiting the blooms of my bearded irises, which were planted last year and I'm really hoping will bloom this year.

Front Fenceline

Some fresh mulch has been laid in this bed, otherwise, not too many changes since last month in this bed.


I've done some light pruning to this area, as well as incorporated a few cast iron plants in the shady corners of the courtyard for some year-round color.

I have yet to plant a new shade tree in the center of the courtyard - still leaning towards a Texas Ash for now, unless we get a better recommendation for a good, fast-growing shade tree that won't overtake the courtyard, yet will have enough height and spread for a decent shade canopy.  I also want something that will provide good nectar and fruit to my wildlife friends.

I've also been thinking about some new shade-loving, blooming vines that would be good for this space.  After several years, my wisteria still hasn't bloomed, so I think it is time to remove it from the back trellis and replace it with something more interesting, reliable, and preferably native.

Front of House

Nothing new to report here this month.

Thanks to Helen over at the Patient Gardener for hosting the End of the Month view.  Be sure to check out other gardener's End of the Month views!


  1. It all looks so neat, I always find a good mulch makes a border look better at this time of year. Thanks for joining in again this month

    1. Thanks - it has come a long way since this time last year. It has been fun to watch the transformation through the EoMV posts. The mulch definitely spruces the appearance up.

  2. Dear Rebecca, thanks for leaving a comment on my blog! I just realized that we are both taking part in Helen's End of Month View meme this year!
    Gosh, you have quite a good size garden, I have to admit that I envy you a little bit about that. Here in California the property parcels are usually much smaller, at least for the average home owner. Land is incredible expensive and the San Diego area, where I live, is densely populated.
    Anyway, back to your yard. Kudos for you for spreading so much mulch. I am a firm believer in amending the soil and mulch spread on a regular base does just that. It is backbreaking work, I know, but so worth it.
    Your vegetable beds are so productive. It must be wonderful to harvest your own produce at this time of the year.
    I love your shade tree bed. It looks so good with the freshly spread mulch. I think the moment the sun comes out I would take a blanked with me and hop into the hammock and enjoy the garden!
    Warm regards from Southern California,

    1. The mulching really is labor intensive work! I do fine hauling about 20 wheelbarrows full and then I'm completely fatigued after that. Considering I recently purchased 12 yards of the stuff, I have several more weekends of work ahead of me. At least it is motivating to have it make the places where it is spread look so much nicer, and to know it will help with weed and moisture control. And the hammock under the shade trees - that is exactly the plan the moment temperatures are warm enough. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I love that shade bed and will always be envious of that courtyard. Go with the Ash! It will be great.

    1. The courtyard was definitely a selling point for me on the house and I just haven't spent nearly as much time out there since the old tree came down. Next weekend I'm hoping to make Project: Courtyard Tree happen!

  4. Mulch is great stuff - it always improves appearances and we all know the wet weather won't be with us through late spring and summer. That mulch will bring welcome relief from the sunshine on the way. Take it easy on your back as you go. You've got lots of garden seasons' worth of work ahead, gotta take care of that most important tool - the gardener!

    It is exciting about your shade tree project - can't wait to see what you choose. Of course there are several good native choices but what is available at your nursery in a decent size at a good price always factors in. Looking forward to more!

    1. I heed your warning - I don't want to overdo it and end up being put out of commission for awhile and not able to work in the garden. Last year I had an incident where I was just shoveling some dirt around in the garden (nothing I thought was too taxing), and ended up tweaking something in my neck/shoulder that gave me bad headaches for a solid month. Never again, I say!

  5. All very neat and tidy Rebecca - the garden as a whole looks very well cared for. I love the planting you have around the house walls - it softens the stone, which by the way is lovely too.
    I look forward to reading and seeing those roses you are planning for the fence line. Good luck with getting better weather and some more of those jobs done.

    1. Thanks, Angie. The beds that border the front of the house were added just this past year and I agree - they really soften the look and give it a "Texas Cottage" feel. I think the new roses are what I'm most looking forward to gardening this year!