before and after

Before and during…

It’s getting warmer, daffodils are blooming, oak leaves are dropping, and gardeners are getting project fever.

This week marked the beginning of a new project in my garden.

I’ve been working on the front mailbox bed since we moved in. The previous owners had a mishmash of meatball-shaped shrubs. I took them out several years ago and planted a nice array of native and drought tolerant shrubs and perennials. Plants included Lantana, Butterfly bush, Loropetalum, Blackfoot daisy, Hymenoxis, and Bi-color iris.
Don’t get me wrong — I love the plants. But I still had issues with the almost square bed which lacked definition, was too deep and flat.

So, this week I started on the project to make the entrance a welcoming addition to our landscape.

See how overgrown it looks without some way to break up the depth?
The right side will get a little sprucing up with just a few new plants — I have to replace two agaves that died in our cold winter. And it will get updated as well, with a natural rock edge to match the left side.
It looks o.k. in early spring before the plants grow, but it still has an odd, uninteresting shape with no flow.
Just imagine a small rock wall that provides an elevated garden bed along the left half of the existing bed and extending it down to meander along the driveway. Then the lower lever of the front bed will meander in front of it, segmented by little vignettes separated by smaller rocks, providing spaces to highlight favorite plants and create focal points.
Tons of rock for the raised bed arrived this morning. Rock breaking starts Monday (I will not be a part of that team..I’m the design team!)

Before and after…

…well, just before.
As I watched my segment on Central Texas Gardener, I realized just how much gardening I’ve done in 6-1/2 years! And I thought it would be interesting for those of you who watched my garden tour to see what it really looked like when I started. So, above you see stumps, weeds, brush.
Some scrawny-scrubby cedar trees dotted the yard.
And this little square of limestone just stuck on the edge of nothing was the vegetable garden… full of what 3 or 4 dying tomatoes. And isn’t that exposed pool equipment a nice addition to the ambiance?
So, I gutted it. Took out all the crap — which, by the way, was everything. Leveled it and brought in topsoil.
Because the original owners placed the house so far back on the lot and then limited the size of the usable backyard by putting the fence really far back. So, anticipating the possibility of a future greenhouse and veggie garden, I added fencing and moved the fence forward to capture more back yard.

If you want to see more of the “after” you can catch the Central Texas Gardener show with my garden in it here.