Thursday, April 30, 2015

End of Month View - April 2015

The look of the garden has changed quite a bit since last month.  In the last week or so, the garden went from a spring-garden look to an early summer look.  Spring blooms have come and gone and there is a bit of a lull in my garden blooms until the summer plants start budding out.

Veggie Beds

The spring planted veggies have really taken off.  After this picture was taken, I even had to prune up the indeterminate tomatoes a bit since they were a bit overgrown and putting too much energy into their leaves versus producing fruit.  The eggplant and peppers are also doing well - I harvest my first three peppers of the season and the eggplant have started to flower.  Some of the fall/winter greens (chard, spinach, lettuce) that were left in the spring garden have gone to seed, so it is time to pull them up and plant some other summer veggies in their place.

Shade Tree

The shade tree bed has started to fill out after mostly going dormant through the winter.  The turk's caps and American beautyberries have really leafed out.  I've added a few new plants as well - some holly ferns and some inland sea oats for some different textures to the shade bed.  I even have some volunteer sunflowers from wayward birdseed.  The sunflowers started growing before the trees filled out with their spring growth.  It will be interesting to see if they will still blossom now that they are primarily in shade.


The back deck garden doesn't look too drastically different from last month, other than the parsley, dill and cilantro that I had to remove which started to topple over, I think because some pests (grubs? snails?) were gnawing at the roots and base of the plant.  I've replanted the plants from seeds in other areas of the garden.  Thankfully, I have some fennel up in containers of the deck to keep the swallowtail caterpillars happy in the meantime.

Center Beds

The bluebonnets have gone to seed, so the center beds don't have much color at the moment other than from some snap peas, larkspur and poppies.  Most of the red oriental poppies have started to topple over, so I'll pull out a bunch of them to make rooms for some summertime annuals, but I'll leave enough that will hopefully reseed for next season.


The lighting on this one isn't great, but the garnet sash pomegranate tree has finally started to put on growth.  I was worried that it might be dead, or maybe didn't get enough chill hours.  The pomegranate was purchased from the Natural Gardener, so I figured they wouldn't be selling me any varieties that aren't well suited for our area.  In this bed, the orange canna lilies have started to unfurl. I did a lot of dividing and transplanting of them last year, so I'm interested to see how much they flower this year.

Neighbor Fenceline

There isn't much to see here.  The rose bushes will send out a bud every once and awhile, but being their first year in this bed, I'm not expecting any big shows from them this year.  The neighbor's bushes are a different story though.  They are covered in fragrant white flowers that are attracting swarms of red admiral butterflies, so I'm glad I'm getting to enjoy some benefit from their yard.

Bulb Bed

The spring bulbs of daffodils and irises have stopped blooming and I'm in a lull of bulb blooms until the gladiolas and daylilies put on their show later this summer.  I should really try to find some other perennials to fill in a few of my holes that would have some nice color for late spring.  Any suggestions?

Front Fenceline

All the plants in this bed that were planted a year ago are really starting to fill out.  The black-foot daisies are going strong and the coral honeysuckle is looking healthy after looking a bit questionable last year.  My purple feathergrass plants died (due to freezing temps), so I've replaced it with a pampas grass plant.  I was originally looking for a dwarf pampas grass but could only find the regular size.  The normal sized one might end up being too big for the space I want it to fill.  If so, I'll just move the plant to another area of the front yard later.


The courtyard has gotten some much-needed TLC this spring.  Besides planting our new Chinese Pistache shade tree, we removed the Chinese wisteria from the tall trellis (which would grow like crazy but never flower), and replaced it with an evergreen and sweet smelling star jasmine.  The fragrance can now greet our guests as they come through the threshold of our home.  Also recently added to a corner was the Japanese Aralia, which was selected for its lush evergreen and shade-loving foliage.

Front of House

In the front, the yellow oleander that flanks our gate entrance is in bloom.  The salvias and guara are also in bloom.  My bi-colored iris are blooming for the first time this year and the lantana are starting to sprawl and getting ready for their heat-loving blooms.

I tried planting a gopher plant and sedum in my very front bed, and while claiming to be deer-resistant, it seems the deer still thought these plants were a delectable treat, so I'll need to plant these in a fenced space in the yard in the future.

Thanks, as always, to Helen of The Patient Gardener for hosting this monthly meme where we can look at the transformation of our gardens every month.


  1. It is all looking so lush and lovely, what good work you've done so far! One perennial that might work well in your iris/daylily bed could be purple coneflower/Echinacea purpurea. The low rosette would contrast nicely foliage wise and the purple blooms would play well shape/color wise with day lilies and glads both.

    Is that a Datura that volunteered out in your path? The Hub and I are tempted to swap decomposed granite paths and mulched beds functionally, because native flowers sure seem happier in that granite gravel than anywhere else! We laugh that we'll just walk in/on the beds and let the paths have all our flowers.

    1. It IS a volunteered datura! What a lovely flower and fragrance! I have seen them in pictures, but never in real life, and was surprised to find it in my yard. Not quite sure how it got here, but since my dogs don't seem interested in munching on the poisonous leaves, I'll harvest some of the seeds and try to keep them going in my yard. I was especially surprised to find it growing on the gravel path. I try to pull most weeds from the path, but this one looked interesting so I let it go, and so happy I did. There will be a future post on my surprise datura!

  2. It looks beautiful, Rebecca! I must try the blackfoot daisies. In the Midwest, peonies are considered the classic late spring/early summer flowers, but I don't know when they bloom in your area. I understand that tree peonies don't need as much winter chill as the herbaceous varieties... Speaking of which, don't worry about chill with the pomegranate; it flowers and fruits in very mild areas!

    1. I've read that peonies are not recommended for our area because of not enough chill hours, which breaks my heart, since I was say that peonies are probably my favorite flower. If I ever move back to the midwest, I'm sure of what will be in my garden...peonies and hydrangeas!