Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Conquering Landscaping in the Texas Heat
Once upon a time there was the most beautiful "English Garden".. the problem of an odd shaped back yard transformed into completely glorious flowers.
Unlike fairy tales, there was no happy ending here.
Fifteen years ago my daughters' and I literally tore up the grass in the back yard. We made a stepping stone path from the street, across the side of the front lawn and into the back yard, courtesy of a walk maker and 185 bags of cement. Not all in one day, lol.. but weeks. We had fun adding sea shells from Hawaii and Florida to them, hand prints, dates and even (accidental) dog paw prints.
We had a friend dig a tiered pond for a bog and water garden. A huge pond that no longer holds water. Mind you we're on a hill of solid rock. As in nautilus fossils and dinosaur bones. You can't plant a rose without a rock bar. Its that bad.
And we planted. Oh, did we plant. The yard was sectioned into different aspects. There was a friendship garden with plants donated by friends. There was a succulent garden, then the main area of the yard, and then the Secret / Moonlight garden, planted with all white flowers and a little white wood love seat.
Over the years, the extreme heat and colder than normal winters, all the plants died. You know its hot when even native succulents die. Everything was replaced with Xeriscape plants. Suddenly by last year, the drought and dry conditions in Texas even got them. This year only my iris survived. Hosta and lilies that should be huge were just sad little plants, barely 12' tall. Fortunately, the rose garden thrived.
So this was "the year" to fix all that. I can't stand having coffee on my back porch every morning to look at barren dirt. Since March, I have "disciplined" myself to re-do the back yard. To avoid the heat, I'd do the coffee at 6am outside, and begin working by 7am until noon each day. I put in a raised bed garden with tomatoes and strawberries, installed a soaker hose and dragged in 103 bags of mulch.
The goal is no longer English Garden, but "park".. I'm happy to not see weeds or dead plants and have had to start all over again. I'm hoping this is the last time.
What does all this have to do with vintage? Other than the fact I should be listing new vintage instead of playing in the yard ~ Nothing. Just another ramble by me, totally off topic. But ~ there is a vintage cast iron bed headboard my ivy grows on, and a vintage white iron gate leading to the secret garden, and lots of little vintage cans I use as planters. So I guess that qualifies?
And as soon as this HORRID heat breaks, which makes it difficult to even work outside even at 7am, on to conquer the leaking pond!