For years now, I have used the Central Texas Gardening blog as a repository for articles I write on various gardening subjects, but having enjoyed seeing so many other gardening blogs where the beauty of the garden and it’s contents is just being shared, has persuaded me to change my blog focus and do the same. After many years of developing our garden, defined as the British would, as being the entire yard, into a relatively carefree, water saving, drought tolerant landscape, the fruits of our labor are being seen and enjoyed year round. No more garden construction is necessary as the basic design won’t change, but maybe a little tweaking, transplanting, and swapping out one plant for another to give the garden a different look each year and accommodate microclimate changes. Also, it’s just fun to try to grow different plants anyway.
I have always said that whatever gets constructed, must be maintained, so my gardening efforts have shifted to keeping the garden as presentable and enjoyable to look at as possible. That limits it to hand weeding, leaf and litter removal, and pruning/dividing plants as necessary, but compared to growing and mowing a boring looking lawn in the heat of summer, it’s a piece of cake! I know we will have a beautiful garden to enjoy in even the severest of drought conditions because we planned for it and took action to construct it.
The backyard garden looks a bit different in every season and every year. There is nothing static about our garden. Shrubs and plants mature, some don’t make it and need to be replaced/substituted, and different plants display different ornamental attractions at different times of the year. This is the year-round garden concept I have talked about so many times in the past. It is intentional and planned. There is a distinct advantage to keeping a garden within manageable size, and the small size of our back yard solves that problem for us automatically, whereby we can focus on the quality rather than quantity of plantings and be more conscience of design factors such color, texture, seasonal interest, contrast, and placement. When our yard was featured on Central Texas Gardener TV show, the producer described it as “cohesive diversity”. That’s just the way we planned it.
Now for Spring 2015. This year’s garden looks different from last year’s at the same time as you will note in the pictures.
Iris have become the dominant show stopper in our garden this year, as well as Four nerved Daisies that haven’t quit blooming through the winter months. May Night Salvias have been incredible as well. Martha Gonzalez rose bushes are also keeping the garden colorful until other perennials, which were hit by a late freeze, recoup, such as Mexican Honeysuckle and Lantana varieties, TX Mountain Laurel and citrus blooms have kept the garden fragrant. So, I have been very busy with my camera capturing the beauty of the spring garden and will be doing so for the next three following seasons to show the transitioning of a year-round garden in pictures, which people say are better than a thousand words, of which I am probably getting too wordy already, so here are some photos of our 2015 spring garden as viewed from different angles. Enjoy.