Friday, December 11, 2015

New Plantings

Over the past couple of weeks (or so), I've been doing some planting in the vicinity of the new sitting area/gravel circle.  (These photographs don't show today's plantings, but at least they're a step in the right direction.  More photos soon, I hope.)

December Plantings

On the trellis against the fence, I put the two red passionflower vines that I think are probably 'Lady Margaret'.  (One of them even had a couple of open flowers today!)

On the other trellis, it's pink trumpet vine (Podranea ricasoliana).  Both this plant and the passionvines are from Mom's luckily-timed clearance shopping spree.

Though you can't really distinguish it very well in these pictures, I planted the 'Red Heart' rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus)-- also from Mom-- between the two trellises.  This variety has single white flowers with red spots in the center.

December Plantings

On the other side of the banana shrub (Magnolia figo, aka Michelia figo), I planted 'Double Purple' rose of Sharon (yet another from Mom).  As the name suggests, the blooms of this cultivar are double and purple-- a lilac type of purple:

Double Purple Rose of Sharon

December Plantings

On either side of the transition from path to sitting area, I planted tiny seedlings of a third type of rose of Sharon-- one with double pink flowers (name unknown).  (These are very small and even more difficult to spot in photos.)

These are cuttings from a tree in Granny W.'s yard.  I rooted them in water and hope they're far enough along to succeed in the ground.  I debated whether to plant them now or keep them in their little nursery pots until spring.  Well, I'll hope for the best.  Meanwhile, there's a third, smaller cutting that's still in a pot and a fourth cutting (smaller still) trying to root in water in my kitchen window.  If the ones I've planted don't do well, maybe one of the others will have better luck.

Meanwhile, I've also planted the Salvia madrensis (forsythia sage) on the south side of the path/circle, where it can get a little shade.  I'm not sure it's the best spot, but we'll give it a try.  Plenty of room for it to grow, there.

Along the fence (see photo below), starting at the bamboo and moving eastward, first there's a Duranta erecta 'Sapphire Showers'.  I've decided to give them a try in this part of the yard, after all.  I amended the soil around them-- a little-- so maybe it'll work out.  I don't think drainage will be a problem here.  Our poorly-drained soil is along the western and southern sides of the fenced yard.

Next, there's a rose of Sharon (the thing Trixie's standing behind) that volunteered under the single, purple-w/-red-center one we have.  The "single" roses of Sharon apparently have a reputation for self-sowing.  I assume this will turn out to be another purple-w/-red-center, unless it managed to cross-pollinate with the all-white rose of Sharon.  In any case, I'm sure it'll be pretty.  They all are, in my opinion.

One step further down the row is Mascagnia macroptera (butterfly vine), followed by the second Duranta erecta 'Sapphire Showers'.

December Plantings

Not pictured (because I only planted it today) is a mystery crepe myrtle that I placed between the butterfly vine and the second duranta.  It's another volunteer-- this time one that showed up near the 'Victor' crepe myrtle in a spot where it simply couldn't stay.  I had to cut back some of the roots (or, well, maybe I didn't have to, but I did), but I think it has a good chance.

This crepe myrtle seemed worth trying to save, because the color of the flowers-- a pale pink-- was different from those already in the yard.  The others we have are all either white, watermelon pink, or some other dark/bright pink.  I don't have plans to actively hunt down and add more crepe myrtles to the yard (no ideal place to put them, for one thing), but I didn't have the heart to just throw away a volunteer in a "new" color.

Also planted today-- the two 'Little Bonnie' dwarf spirea from Mom (more super-clearance purchases).  They went on the other side of the banana shrub.  (A picture is probably worth a thousand words of me trying to explain precisely where they're located.)

The last things I planted today were daylilies.  The last several pots of home-started daylilies and a small pot of 'Little Business' (dwarf, repeat-bloomer, raspberry with chartreuse throat) went here and there around part of the gravel circle.

Oh!  I just remembered something else I planted a while back-- strawberry begonia (Saxifraga stolonifera).  The pot was full, so I took a piece off before planting it (south side of the path, in some shade) to pot up for indoors.

...And I think that's it for recent plantings.  There are several more plants still awaiting placement, but we're getting there!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Last Days of November

November exited with days of unseasonable warmth.  On the downside, I was pestered by mosquitoes when I took these photos, and it's hard to believe that Christmas is just around the corner.  On the other hand, the temperature's been comfortable-- capri pants weather-- and the last lingering flowers are lingering just a little longer.

- - - - - - -

Toad lily.
I've planted them in pots for the covered patio, for now.  I may put them into the ground at some point, but for now, I like the flexibility of the pots.  I really like the painterly style of the variegated foliage of this one.  The flowers are just a bonus.

Toad Lily

Butterfly vine from Mom.
This vine (Mascagnia macroptera or Callaeum macropterum) gets its common name from the shape of its green seed pods.  Some people collect the seed pods, dry them, and paint them for use in crafts (wreath decorations, for instance).

Right now, I'm thinking this might go where the rustic pergola was, by the end of the gravel path.  There are other options, too.  Still considering.  Wherever it goes, it will need a support of some type.

Butterfly Vine

Duranta erecta 'Sapphire Showers', from Mom.
I have two of these plants, which are commonly known as golden dewdrop, pigeon berry, or sky flower.  I was thinking of growing them along the north fence in the garden expansion on the east side of the yard.  The fence would provide an easy support (though not a very tall one), and they'd help fill in a totally new area of flowerbed.  However, I've just read that they require light, fast-draining soil-- "sandy soil rich with organic matter".  The soil in that part of the yard is definitely not sandy or light.  It's a heavy clay soil.  So... Maybe that's not the best location for this vine.  On the other hand, I could "just" dig an extra big hole and amend the soil (plenty of spare sandy soil on hand) to improve the drainage... Hm.

Duranta erecta 'Sapphire Showers'

Anoles are still out and about.  I saw a garter snake a few days ago, too.  (No photos of the snake, I'm afraid.)


The dogs kept me company on my little photo expedition.


The frostbitten Mexican purple sage is still soldiering along.

Mexican Purple Sage

The double pink Knock Out rose has been putting on a special show, lately.  The single yellows are blooming, too, but they haven't quite reached the size and maturity of the pink, yet.

Double Pink KO Rose

Double Pink KO Rose

Double Pink KO Rose

Blanket flower has been such a champ, this year!  I'm so glad I gave those seeds a try.  They're excellent plants.  I'm curious to see what spring brings.  Will these have reseeded all over the place?  I think I'm okay with that, but I suppose there is a limit to the number of blanket flowers we need.

One negative for this plant is that some of them have been leaning over/sprawling a little for the past couple of months.  In some spots, that's not a problem, but most of these are located right by a path, and that's where they happen to lean.  When the flowers are loaded with bees (and sometimes wasps), you don't want to go brushing against them, so that section of path has been useless.  I'm considering putting in some very short, decorative fencing just along the edge of the path, next year.  It wouldn't take much.  Maybe six feet or so?   Another option could be staking or a few short cages to prop them up.

Blanket Flower and Bee

Maybe I spoke too soon about the hiccup-free bamboo transplant.  I've noticed a little yellowing of some of the leaves.  Nothing too bad (yet), but enough to make me wonder.  Is it transplant shock?  Under-watering (since the move)?  Over-watering?  (It didn't move very far, but the soil in its new location contains a lot of clay-- probably more than in its last home.  I hope that won't be a problem...)

Or could this be just a sign that the bamboo has noticed that it's December?  Time to drop some leaves and maybe put out a few new ones?  I'm trying not to fret over it.  I think it'll be okay, once it has more time to adapt.  If it seems to be suffering too much, I could always dig around the plant and amend the soil with sand and organic matter.

'Golden Goddess' Bamboo

'Golden Goddess' Bamboo

I don't know much about azaleas, but I think this may be a formosa azalea.  Whatever it is, there are two of them in the "wild strip" along the front of the yard (outside the fence).  They've started blooming again.

There's also a bloom on one of our Japanese magnolias, and I've seen a bloom or two on one of Mom's Japanese magnolias.  I don't think they normally bloom in autumn-- only early spring-- so maybe this weirdly mild fall has confused them.  The formosa azalea, on the other hand, apparently blooms sporadically in fall, so I guess they're behaving normally.

Azalea - Fall Bloom

A look across the yard...

View Across the Yard

Some people positively hate nandina (heavenly bamboo).  It's not my very favorite plant, but I like the lacy foliage and red berries, and I like the fact that it's evergreen and has some interesting leaf color changes, through the seasons.


Some of our crepe myrtles (mostly the white-blooming ones, I believe) have displayed some very nice autumn color, this year.

The ones down by the shed are mostly golden with a touch of orange (aside from the residual green, of course).

Crepe Myrtle - Fall Foliage

Crepe Myrtle - Fall Foliage

Crepe Myrtle - Fall Foliage

Meanwhile the arc of crepe myrtles behind the garage range from gold through red, with touches of purple.

Crepe Myrtle - Fall Foliage

Crepe Myrtle - Fall Foliage

Crepe Myrtle - Fall Foliage

The last few seeds on the river oats (the ones I haven't gathered) are slowly turning gold, too.

River Oats / Norther Sea Oats

Warmly blue autumn skies with fluffy cotton clouds have since been replaced by grey, lowering clouds.  Humidity is high and rain is on the way, but in another couple of days, we'll be clear and seasonal, with sunshine and highs in the mid to upper 60s.  I'm not complaining!

Warm November Sky

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Circular Sitting Area (Etc.)

Last weekend, Donald worked on the circular sitting area; I helped with the last few loads of gravel, just so I could honestly claim to have had a hand in the process.  ;o)

It might need another wheelbarrow load or two, but it's just about there.  

Today, we put up two simple trellises.  We might go back and put a board along the top edge, but at this point, we're not sure...

New Trellises

New Trellises

New Trellises

Next, I'll plant vines against the trellises.  (Some of those Mom gave me recently will get a chance here, and if they survive the winter, they'll be the perfect solution for this spot.)

There are more plants to place around this part of the garden expansion, as well as mulching to do.  Lots and lots of mulching.  

At some point, we're planning to get a couple of plastic adirondack(-ish) chairs for the graveled circle.  When the plants fill in, it'll be a pleasant spot to sit, I hope.

A week or two ago, we moved the 'Golden Goddess' bamboo from one side of the circle to the other, where it will have more room and serve as a privacy screen between the sitting area and the easement.

New Trellises

Maybe it's too early to say for sure, but so far it looks like the relocation was a great success!  No obviously dead culms.

With the bamboo and those open trellises, this area has a pretty strong Asian vibe, at the moment, which may feel a little out of sync with the rest of the garden.  I think the addition of more plants will tone that down and help blend it into the rest of the yard.

- - - - - - -

There are still a few things blooming, despite a couple of cold nights.  The blanket flowers are proving hardy.  Though there are still a few bees and butterflies paying visits, I noticed more wasps, today.

Wasps on Blanket Flowers

I can't tell if those are "just wasps" or if they're yellow jackets...  Either way, I think I'll keep my distance.

Wasps on Blanket Flowers

This next flower was hosting a more familiar-looking wasp-- and a leaf-footed bug.

Ugh.  I don't remember ever seeing leaf-footed monsters bugs in my childhood.  I grew up just about a ten-minute drive from where I currently live and frequently visited my grandparents on this very property, only a short walk from where our house now stands.  Maybe the bugs were here all along, and I just never noticed them.  But I really, really doubt it.  It's hard not to notice a big, scary-looking bug that noisily flies at your head like an idiot.  (Yes, they're the idiots of the insect world-- and carpenter bees are the thugs and wasps are the psychopaths.)  In any case, they are here, now, with a vengeance, and I wish they'd go away.

Wasps on Blanket Flowers

- - - - - - -

Here's where most of the still-unplaced plants are hanging out.  I have specific plans for several of them.

The tiny tree with the itsy-bitsy white flowers is Osmanthus fragrans 'Fudingzhu' (sometimes known as 'Nanjing Beauty').  The 'Fudingzhu' tea olive is supposed to have larger flowers  in greater abundance than the species (which is the form already in our garden), and its fragrance is reportedly stronger, too, though I've also seen people say that there's not a significant difference.  We'll judge for ourselves, in time.  I was pleasantly struck by its perfume, this afternoon.  The strength of the fragrance seems to vary with "atmospheric conditions" (temperature, humidity, etc.), but when it's just right-- what a delight!

New Plants

Here's another "sneak peek" photo.
The yellow-blooming plant is Salvia madrensis, aka "forsythia sage".
The purple flowers are one of the plants from Mom--  Duranta erecta 'Sapphire Showers'.

New Plants

These azaleas keep on blooming.
One day they'll move into their appointed spots.  Maybe after a good cold spell.  (The shrubs that need to come out, first, make me a little nervous regarding the things that could be hiding inside them...)


Even though those cold nights shriveled them (or at least parts of them), the Mexican purple sage has bounced back enough in the warmer weather to continue to attract some insects.

While I'm on the subject of Salvia purpurea, the cuttings I took and put in water (to root) didn't do very well.  The water was getting very cloudy, and when I took them out to give them a fresh jar of water, the cuttings were so stinky that I decided to just toss them.  Not sure if I had bad luck, did something wrong, or if this plant just doesn't root well in water.  (I may try one more time, since there are still plenty of green stems in the garden.)

The cuttings I stuck straight into a pot of garden soil are right beside the sunny garage window.  So far, they look ok. (Knock on wood...)  Meanwhile, I'll give the existing plants a thick winter mulch and hope at least one of them comes through the winter.

Late November Blooms

It certainly doesn't feel like late November, this weekend!

Planting Perennials

A little over a week ago, we were expecting a rainy Wednesday, so I hurried to get some things planted on Tuesay.  (Why not let Mother Nature help out with the watering/settling in of new plants?)

The focus that day was the flowerbed expansion along the back of the house, but a few things found new homes in existing parts of the flower garden.

First, I moved the last of that row of crinum lilies.  Whew.  Those things are not easy to get out of the ground!  And they're heavy, too.  I wasn't bothered by wasps, at least, despite my worries (after having seen one or two hanging around the area, earlier).

Planting the Flowerbed Expansion

Then I chose places for the new plants, starting with three types of clumping ornamental grasses.

The muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris) went more-or-less between the tea olive (Osmanthus fragrans) and the unknown "too-red" rose, in the garage-side flowerbed.  Everyone seems to agree that it looks its best when the light shines through it, so I hope this position will provide a nice view as we walk down the path toward the backyard.  If not, well, I can always move it!

The unspecified Pennnisetum went into the leftmost front corner of the newly expanded bed.  I'm not sure exactly what it is, beyond Pennisetum, so I'm a little nervous about its chances.  I've learned that purple fountain grass, which may be what this is, may survive in zone 8b, but just as many (if not more) report that it usually doesn't come back in spring.  If we get the colder/wetter-than-normal winter predicted (because of El Niño), tender plants may have a harder time surviving, this year.  Since nothing I've read about overwintering grasses in the garage or house has been very encouraging, I guess I'll leave it where it is and hope for the best.  (And next time, do a little more research!)

Way on the other end of where the expanded bed will eventually be (though I haven't gotten that far, yet), I planted the Miscanthus sinesis 'Gold Breeze' (maiden grass/zebra grass) Mom gave me.  This grass can get quite tall-- up to 7 feet, for some-- but it sounds like it takes years for it to reach that size.  I'm hopeful that it will do well in this spot, but I'm new to ornamental grasses, so I'm a little uncertain of how much sun, humidity, and drought they can take, and in what combination.

Planting the Flowerbed Expansion

Next, I planted the three new salvias in the expanded bed:
--Salvia leucantha 'Purple on Purple' (Mexican bush sage, all-purple)
--Salvia leucantha 'Waverly'
--Salvia 'Pizzazz Purple'

Salvia leucantha 'Purple on Purple' is also known as Mexican bush sage.  The velvety-textured flowers and calyxes are purple, and the foliage has a fuzzy, silver-dusted appearance.  Basically the whole plant looks (and is) soft.

Salvia leucantha 'Waverly' is sometimes known as white Mexican bush sage, but while it shares some features of the purple Mexican bush sage, it's definitely its own plant.  It has velvety white flowers with purple (or purple-green) calyxes, and the fuzz on the white flowers gradually ages to a rosy-purple tint.  The leaves, however, are nothing like the fuzzy, silvered foliage of the all-purple Salvia leucantha.  The foliage is green, relatively smooth, and the individual leaves are broader and flatter than the narrow, plump leaves of the all-purple salvia.

I haven't been able to find Salvia 'Pizzazz Purple' on many websites.  What I have read is that it grows to 3-4 feet in a mounding habit, with stalks of purple flowers.  (And I've seen it bloom, so I can confirm that they are indeed purple-- a very vibrant dark purple.) It blooms spring through fall, is hardy in zones 8 and 9, attracts butterflies and hummingbirds, and needs either full sun or partial shade.

Planting the Flowerbed Expansion

Other perennials I planted at the same time:
--Chinese foxglove (Rehmania elata)
--Alabama ox-eye daisy (Heliopsis helianthoides)
--ox-eye daisy/marguerite/moon daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare 'May Queen')

Chinese foxglove is not related to "real foxglove", but as you might guess, its pink flowers bear some resemblance to those of digitalis.  It grows 2-3 feet tall and blooms in spring and summer.  It may be invasive in some places (but is supposed to be easy to pull or dig up), and it is poisonous.  I had some misgivings over that last part, but it's far from the first or only poisonous plant growing in our yard, so I decided to go ahead with it.  If the dogs seem to pay too much attention to it, I'll banish it to the small flower area outside the fence, but I hope that won't be necessary.  I tried to give it a little extra shade to keep it from drying out too easily, but the "even moisture" requirement always worries me.  We'll see... Some soil amendment may be in order, or I may move it to a still shadier spot, at some point.

The Alabama ox-eye daisy is a native wildflower.  Some spoilsports warn that it's invasive, but others prefer to say that it is exuberant and good for filling in an area.  It forms large clumps up to 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide.  The 3"-wide, yellow, daisy-shaped flowers appear from July until frost in full sun or part shade.

The 'May Queen' ox-eye daisy has even more of a reputation as a spreader.  Native to Europe, it's drought-tolerant and hardy over a wide range of zones.  It likes full sun, grows 1-2 feet tall, and blooms spring through fall with 2-4" white-petaled/yellow-eyed, daisy-style flowers.  It will self-seed unless deadheaded.  I may eventually regret planting this in a flowerbed... But I have several months to change my mind and move it before it even starts blooming.  If nothing else, I'm sure I can find another part of the yard to let it grow-- somewhere it won't be as likely to interfere with more timid plants...

With the new sun-lovers planted, I decided to fill in some of the empty spots in the expanded bed (and the newly-emptier garage-side bed) with some of this year's daylily seedlings.

I'd been on the fence as to whether to plant them or leave them in pots until spring, but I think most of them are big enough to go into the beds, now.  The puny ones probably aren't going to be wildly successful, anyway-- and maybe they'll do better in the ground than in pots.  Based on my experience with last year's seedlings, we won't see any flowers from these next year.  Maybe the year after.  But in the meantime, the foliage bulks up the flowerbed.

Planting the Flowerbed Expansion

I also planted a few pots of perennial coreopsis divisions/cuttings.  Some of them had roots, but others... Well, I'm honestly not sure how they've stayed green all this time, on the covered patio, because I surely didn't see roots... Maybe they'll "take"; maybe not.  Either way, they needed to go in the ground.

There are still quite a few things to plant-- small trees, shrubs, shade-lovers, vines, and an array of home-propagated plants.  Some of them will be okay in their pots, for a while, but others really need to be in the ground before the cold weather settles in.

Then there's the mulch.  All these expansions need mulch, and most of the existing flowerbeds need a new layer to make up for what has broken down over the past several months.

In other words, there's work to do!

Planting the Flowerbed Expansion

(The photos are from today, so the salvias, crinums, and a few other things have been a little touched by the near-freezes we've had recently.)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Preparing for the First Freeze

We were expecting our first dip down to 32°F, Sunday night/Monday morning, so I hurried during the days before to take care of a number of small jobs.

-- I took cuttings from a few plants-- some that I'm afraid of losing in the winter ("pinata lavender", Salvia purpurea), and others that I'd like to have new "starts" of, either for myself or to offer to others.  Night-blooming jasmine and Confederate rose will die back in the winter, so now's the time to take cuttings.  Well, now's the time for Confederate rose, based on all I've read.  Cuttings of night-blooming jasmine might be better taken when the plant is actively growing, but since I know that will freeze to the ground, it does no harm to take some cuttings now.

-- I moved the more cold-sensitive plants onto their sunny shelves by the garage window (after first clearing the area; the whole garage is in dire need of a good organizing).  This involved cutting back the pots of "pinata lavender".  I don't know if they'll pull through the winter indoors or not.  The one pot I overwintered last year just barely survived.  This year, I've taken a ton of cuttings and brought a couple of the plants into the house, where I thought they might have a better chance (though a lack of sufficient sunlight will still be an issue).

-- I gathered the remaining plants still in nursery pots to one corner of the covered patio, where they spent the night under sheets.  (I hope to get most of them in the ground in the next two or three weeks, but we'll see... Some will most likely be waiting even longer.)

As it turned out, we had only a near-freeze (if our thermometer is to be trusted), but that was enough to at least begin to wilt a lot of things (elephant ears, black-eyed Susan vine, coleus, Salvia purpurea, parts of the Confederate rose, etc.).  It doesn't hurt to be a little ahead of schedule, in any case.  The first real freeze is on its way, and now "all" we have to do is take care of the more exposed pipes before a hard freeze hits.

Monday, November 16, 2015


Over the weekend, we worked on the sitting area at the end of the gravel path.  I'd already dug a small trench to mark the perimeter of the roughly circular spot.  This time, we removed the sod inside the circle.

(We then planted chunks of sod here and there over the pad, where the lawn is more ground-cover weeds than grass.  That made the job a lot longer and more tiring, but if the grass takes root, it will be worth the effort.)

Gravel Progress

Eventually, all the grass (inside the fence) out to that green water hose will either be dug up or smothered with cardboard.  One step at a time!

Gravel Progress

Here it is from the other side...
We might need to dig down a little deeper, but the hardest part's done.  Donald's already started bringing home the edging "stones" for the circle, and we already have everything else we need (landscape fabric, staples, and gravel).  If the weather permits, maybe we'll be putting down the gravel this coming weekend.

Gravel Progress

Looking back up the path...
I find myself thinking of all the work that I need to do here.  Settling on spots for a few new plants, maybe transplanting a handful of things... Adding vertical interest in a couple of places... Filling in the blank spots until it's as full and lush as I envision.

November in the Garden

But then it strikes me how much we've already accomplished, in this part of the yard.  It's a very big difference from just the beginning of this past summer.

I don't see any photos from that exact angle, but here are a few of the same general area.

Garden Survey, Early June 2015


Garden Overview

June again:

Garden Survey, Early June 2015

Many days of exhausting labor are represented in that "before and after"!  The gravel path was a major effort, and the arbor took some work, too.

I'm very fortunate to have such a capable partner for these big projects.  I wouldn't know where to begin, if I had to do some of these things on my own.  In fact, I'm certain I'd never even have attempted many of them.  Donald has a way of making even scary-big projects seem do-able.  (Even though I may have some grumbling doubts of how it'll all turn out, when we're in the sweat-drenched thick of it!)

- - - - - - -

A few random photos...
The Japanese shrub mint seems to be doing okay so far.

That tiny little blob of dark green back against the lattice wall-- see it between the loropetalum and the floppy iris?-- is another new acquisition.  Brazilian plume (aka flamingo flower, pine-bur begonia).  Justicia carnea.  It should have some exotic-looking pink flowers for us, next year.  (I hope, I hope, I hope!)

November in the Garden

I feel obligated to take photos of the Confederate rose's flowers, after complaining so much about their absence!  They certainly are pretty:

Confederate Rose

Confederate Rose

- - - - - - -

I put in some time in the yard, today.

Though I feel almost guilty for removing things that were still blooming, I needed to see the lay of the land (and where I can put some of those perennials I bought/was given).  More of the sprawling annuals had to go, so I pulled out another gigantic vinca from along the path, as well as the three or four space-hog marigolds that were still brightening up this small flower bed.

It looks empty without them, but now I have a better idea of how much room remains.  Plenty of room for at least one of those new plants.  (But which one...?)

Flower Bed Renovation

I also took down one of the "rustic obelisks"-- the one that used to be in front of the elephant ears in this next photo.  I'm still pondering what will replace the obelisk.  Maybe a clump of ornamental grass.  Maybe a somewhat-more-permanent support for a vine.  (I did like the vertical interest the obelisk provided...)

In the meantime, I planted one of the plants from Mom-- a canna lily-- off to the side.  I might have to move it, next year, assuming it comes back.  It looks crispy, but I've kept it watered, and there's always hope with these tough plants.

Flower Bed Renovation

I also started rearranging the expanded bed.  (The expansion's not finished, but it's pretty far along, and I really want to get those new plants in the ground before frost, if possible.)

The row of crinum lilies is breaking apart into clumps and moving around the bed.  I'm planting the clumps more or less between the shrub roses, but I had to stop for the day before I could finish.  The large group to the left hasn't been moved, yet.  (And I'm a little nervous about messing with it, because I saw a wasp or two a couple of times, hovering in the area. Ugh, wasps.)

Flower Bed Renovation

Flower Bed Renovation

I also transplanted a few roses.
--There's a tiny piece of single yellow Knock Out rose moved from another part of the garden.

--The 'Nearly Wild' rose that has refused to grow well (formerly adjacent to the northern edge of the back porch) has a new position in front of the trellis.  I hope that it will do better here.  There's probably more sun in this new spot.

--The 'Apricot Drift' rose has also been looking a little depressed, so I moved it from the other side of the bay window to this sunnier position.

Flower Bed Renovation

A photo from the other direction...

Once the graveled sitting area is finished (...and the sitting area trellises are finished... and whatever else that crops up in the meantime is dealt with...), we're planning to put concrete pavers in the area behind and to the side of this trellis. We have most of the pavers already, salvaged from other parts of the yard, but because I've expanded the flowerbed like a madwoman, we'll need to buy some more.

I'm already looking forward to seeing this rejuvenated part of the yard in late spring or early summer, when the plants are starting to come back into their own!  With a little more work, I think this can be an ideal place for sitting with a good book (or maybe even taking a catnap).

Flower Bed Renovation

One more thing I did today was finally pulling out the overgrown marigolds and abandoned vegetables from the (ever-so-slightly) raised beds.  All that's left now is an agéd onion and a couple of skimpy clumps of chives.

(Nearly) Empty Vegetable Beds

I was amused to find five smallish but perfectly good bell peppers on the long-neglected plants.  I haven't watered them for months-- haven't even looked at them once they became the favorite haunt of those horrifying leaf-footed bugs.  And yet they were still producing!  Apparently peppers are very easy to grow.

There was also one decent green jalapeno and some red ones that might've been fine, but weren't worth the effort, since we already have more peppers in the freezer than we're likely to need in the foreseeable future.