I’m thankful for a husband who loves gardening and landscape designing in his free time. His idea of rest is yard work, mowing, weeding, planting, watering, arranging plants. My idea of rest is sitting in these beautiful spaces and enjoying the fruit of his labor. My absolute favorite space is the courtyard in the front of our house. The trickling fountain echoing off the walls. The comfy cushions on the low bench. The beautiful plants. Jason built all of it and all of us love to sit out here. Even the frogs and skinks love it, at least I assume, since we have several living out here. Sometimes after I put Zay down for his morning nap, Ali and I sit out here to read books. And when both kids are napping, I love to sit here for some solitude.
The courtyard is my favorite but the backyard is getting better every season. We had a huge leap year of bamboo, which is enveloping this space in a thick green screen (and giving us more privacy from our neighbors from inside the house, too, since we have big windows). We love to eat lunch and dinner on the back patio, under the pergola. We also love toasting marshmallows and making s’mores around the fire pit. Jason recently planted a bunch of herbs for me and I’m looking forward to using them for cooking. My dad also blessed us with a potted tomato plant. We have several fruit trees and bushes (pear, cherry, blueberry and raspberry) on the other side of the fence and eventually I’d like to have a couple of vegetable garden beds. Maybe next year. (That’s what I said last year when I was pregnant with Zay.)
Normally this time of year, I’d be snapping pictures of our garden and the plants around the house. The pink dogwood behind our house… I missed it this spring. However, our new yard has a gigantic beautiful white dogwood out front. I wonder if our prickly pear cactuses exploded with yellow flowers this spring. I’m sure the azaleas were blindingly vibrant. And the gorgeous Japanese Flowering Plum—I missed that one, too. Is the new home owner keeping up with the weeding?
Jason did bring quite a few plants over to our temporary home at my parents’ in pots. Recently the spineless prickly pear has been having it’s spring grow spurt. I love this thing. It’s so fun! It grows these soft, thick “spines” that dry up and fall off, leaving a polka-dotted paddle. The spineless prickly pear in front of our old house was (and still is) getting huge. We hope to grow these salvaged babies big in front of our new house, too.
We recently bought a huuuuuuge round pot for this agave at Old Time Pottery. It’s happy.
Look! A blog post that isn’t about the kid! 🙂 I’ll get back to writing about her tomorrow, probably. I didn’t want to leave this series unfinished.
We got our gravel delivered and spread in the front garden. It’s close to being finished. Jason asked the delivery guys not to spread it all the way to the edges because he wants to had a landscaping border first, to keep the gravel from spilling into the grass. Weed eaters and pebbles are a bad combination… our front window can testify. I don’t have a whole lot to say about this since I identified the plants in the Phase 3 post. So, on with the pictures…
Plants! After chopping down the grass and covering the area with landscaping fabric, it was time to start adding plants.
Besides less front yard to mow (hooray!), we don’t have a specific plan for the landscaping of this area. Jason will have lots of space to play and plant and tinker and propagate and all those fun things. I’m sure in a few years it’ll be as full and lush as our back garden. We’re using gravel as mulch. More on that in the next post.
Blue Elf Aloe x2:
Some kind of cactus… if you want to know the name, I can ask Jason
Variegated yucca transplanted from my parents house:
And lots more space for future plants:
I take no credit for the piece of paradise located in my backyard. This oasis is all thanks to my husband’s love of plants, especially dessert and tropical plants.
We have yellow bamboo (left of the gate) and black bamboo (right of the gate, not pictured below) in neatly contained planter on our patio. We cut these blocks out of our concrete patio. (Anywhere I saw “we” just assume I mean Jason.)
The black bamboo was very determined… it’s roots spread under the patio and it shot up a bunch of runners into our cactus garden this summer. We’ve left most of them to grow because the idea of a bamboo grove sounds nice. Plus black bamboo is super expensive (the most we’ve ever paid for a plant!) and it spreads pretty slowly. It’s really neat to see how fast a new stalk grows. I’ll do a post just on that some day.
Most mornings while Jason and I are having bacon, eggs and toast at the kitchen table there is a couple of yellow finches having breakfast on our echinacea (cone flower) plant. I guess the seeds are tasty.
There is also a hummingbird that frequents the echinacea and the red yucca (tall finger-like pinkish plant in the center of the photo.)
Our patio needs repainted. Or stained. Or tiled. Or something.
This is a banana tree. It’s just ornamental, it doesn’t get fruit on it. But it’s huge and fast growing and definitely the focal point of the garden right now.
We love this pretty crepe myrtle tree.
There’s a sister banana tree in the corner of the garden.
Our key lime tree, which seems to be fruitless right now.
So there’s a quick tour around our garden paradise this July. It’s been hot and humid and the plants are lovin’ it!
These photos were taken November 21, 2009.
We haven’t/hadn’t yet had a frost so our banana tree is still alive and at least 12 feet tall.
All the rain has caused some beautiful moss to grow in one of our bamboo plants.
Our fire pit has seen some good use this year.
The giant pine tree in our front year provides an endless amount of pine cones, pine mulch and shade. The lavender is still going strong. Although I’ve seen a few birds go in and out of our birdhouse, no one has made a permanent home there.
I love this frosty blue-green sage. Lucy, our chocolate cocker spaniel, just turned 5 and has been scaring us a bit with some strange health episode.
We are so crazy about her. Isn’t she just adorable? She’s as sweet and as soft as she looks. (She found a new “bed” in the throw blanket storage box behind the couch.)
The heavenly bamboo out front is producing lots of pretty red berries.