As I write this,  it is bone-chilling, foggy, soggy, gray, and just plain “stay indoors” weather outside, but my mind is churning with thoughts and new ideas for the coming garden growing season ahead.  It’s the ideal time to be assessing what you have done the past year, what success has it had, what changes and improvements can be made, and what can we do this coming year that is different. 

This past year, we made dramatic changes to our landscaping, transforming the entire yard and garden from water consuming St. Augustine lawn to a totally xeriphytic design as seen on Central Texas Gardener’s Sept 15th On-Tour segment, and as shown on our website, Central Texas Gardening.   The results have exceeded expectation and have saved this aging gardener much labor and stress this past year making it easy to maintain and enjoy a neat looking garden year-round. 

OK,  where do I go from there?  I am not a  type of gardener who wants to see the same thing year after year, so I must make some changes to add new interest to what was  planned to be a stable, maintenance free garden design.   Here’s where the fun comes in  and you can let loose those creative thoughts.

Let’s see – I can transplant,  replace and replant new native and adaptive plants,  move hardscaping features around to create different design effects,  and make further improvements to the existing garden.   Among those on my thought list include:

Add spotlighting to show off the backyard xeriscape garden at night

Complete a stepping stone pathway to make a 360 degree garden walkway around the house, currently  just 270 degrees.,

Create a more permanent and visually appealing compost bin

Move my washtub water lily garden from the deck and place it in the yard itself

Research other plant alternatives to those I have planted for possible replacement so I can experiment and learn first hand about their impact on attracting wildlife

Continue to study and learn about native and adaptive plant possibilities for our central Texas area that I hadn’t considered previously

So, it’s not the time to be digging or planting, but visions of “what if’s” keep dancing in my head as I envision possible changes that would add new interest in the coming year.    Wish I could take a photo of some of them as they keep me happily thinking about the ever changing  joys of gardening and bring home the realization that an ornamental garden is perpetually a work in progress, and would be boring if it weren’t. 

Don’t let the bleak days of mid winter dull your senses and enthusiasm as these days are as important to take advantage of as your active seasonal gardening days outdoors.    Start your planning process now!  What get’s put on paper, generally get’s done and stimulates our longing to be actively out in the garden again.