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Starting at the main intersection of the gravel paths, looking east.
The daylilies in the bed along the fence are slowly filling in the space, and last year's divisions created quite a few small pieces of perennial coreopsis that I hope will grow and flower by summer-- but there's still a lot of empty space, there. The other side of the path, along the patio railing, is a problem spot. Lately, I've been pondering what to plant here. There's a sliver of shade, even in summer, but there's also a sliver that gets a fair amount of sun. I'd like something tall(ish) along the back of the bed-- at least half as tall as the railing, ideally-- and evergreen/winter interest would be great, too-- but I'm having a hard time deciding...
As you can see, we still haven't repainted the covered patio. We need to act soon, I think, but there are other interests/commitments-- and rainy days-- and tax season's here-- and Donald visited his family for a couple of weeks, then got sick with a cold soon after he returned home... Basically, life gets in the way. Maybe I'll start prepping it this week, at least.
Also: I need to pull more weeds/grass and continue mulching!
Looking back the other direction.
The canine companions came along to help. :o) That's Luna in front, with Trixie following.
The loropetalum seems darker-- richer in color-- than I remember... Maybe it's because it's so early in the year. The cooler temperatures/lower angle of the sun might keep the flowers from fading.
The shade garden looks very empty and bare, this time of the year-- a side effect of relying so heavily on deciduous plants and sub-tropical foliage that dies back to the ground. By summer, I'm sure it will be greatly improved. I'm just trying to decide if I'm okay with this part of the garden looking so bare for much of the year... I'm thinking about ways I could add visual interest to the north side of the house without planting an evergreen shrub or two, because I'm just not sure I want to plant an evergreen here. (My hesitation is mainly due to limited space.)
I took these photos before moving the Confederate rose, so if you look closely, you may still see it, on the right side, behind that dormant rose bush. I'm excited to settle a new plant or two into the space vacated by that large hibiscus.
Oh, look-- it's another task we haven't done! ;o) The gravel path is still not quite finished.
Looking over the western side of the flower garden:
It feels so empty! Yet there are a number of plants leafing out. It's only a matter of time before the jungle returns.
This is the newly expanded bed on the western side of the house. I think there's room for a lot of planting, here, but there are already a number of things in the ground-- such as salvias, daylilies (most of which won't bloom this year, as they're too young), and coreopsis divisions.
I don't believe I've shared some of these more distant views, before... There's the lighter-colored Japanese magnolia on the right (foreground). Left foreground is an oak (just a run-of-the-mill water oak, I guess). Mid-ground is pineapple guava. On the far right side, at the corner of the house, is the white/cream loropetalum I photographed for the last blog entry.
This is the southwestern corner of the fenced yard.
Luna's investigating something at the site of the old burn pile. I've since hauled off those remnants and leveled the pile. It's ready to revert to lawn. (The new burn pile is on the north side of the garage, outside the fence. The new location makes it possible to burn small piles of non-compost-friendly garden debris without interfering with the dogs' routines, but it is a little less convenient for hauling branches, because of pathways and gates that have to be negotiated.)
The evergreen shrub on the left is our large gardenia. The smaller trees are all crepe myrtles, with another oak (water oak?) on the right. The garden shed is just out of the frame, to the right.
Looking west along the southern fence...
There are the gardenia and crepe myrtle again. In front of them, a live oak and a pink camellia. To the right (not in the frame) is an arc of river birches and crepe myrtles, with assorted easy-care, pass-along perennials scattered throughout. To the left, beyond the fence, is a stand of pine trees. As a whole, this area receives a fair amount of shade for most of the day, though there is dappled sunlight in places and a patch or two of bright sun.
This whole corner of the yard (and a strip along the whole western edge) is slower-draining than most of the rest, though some spots are worse than others, and it's not boggy for long, except after exceptional amounts of rain. It sits lower than most of the yard, and it's a heavy, clay soil-- the native soil, unlike the sandy tons brought in to create the septic pad and bring the house site up to grade.
Here, I'm standing to the right of the arc of birches and crepe myrtles, looking at the shed. The Confederate rose is now planted on the south side of the shed. Those three concrete pavers are only there temporarily. They were intended to discourage the dogs from a strange obsession they developed this winter with digging in that one spot (and eating either the soil or something in it).
You can just barely see the edge of a slope on the right side of the photo. That's the sloped edge of the septic pad.
And here's the view after a turn to the right...
The photo disguises part of the slope, but it's pretty obvious in person. Grass has been extremely reluctant to cover the top of the pad, unfortunately, so it's mostly weeds and weedy grasses. That's one area of our yard that needs focused attention, but I make no promises that it will be dealt with soon, because lawn doesn't interest me nearly as much as trees, shrubs, and perennials! ;o)
A slight turn back the left...
See the slope, now?
There's the garage, with the vegetable beds on the western side of it.
These photos were taken outside the fence, near the pump house, I think:
You can see a slight slope on the northwestern corner of the house. That slope continues-- intensifies!-- on the western side of the house. That's another problem area, but one that I've surrendered to the lawn mower. Donald mows as much of it as he can and hits the un-mowable parts with the weed-eater from time to time. Honestly, we don't willingly spend time back there, so I haven't bothered with it for years, after an early attempt with less-than-thrilling results. I'm sure something could be done-- especially if we managed to terrace it-- but at this point, it's not worth the effort, expense, and upkeep, when there are so many other areas of the yard that we prefer.
These last two photos really fit in better with the last blog entry, but I didn't see them then, so here they are, now!
Azaleas! Not covered in bloom, but making an effort.
This one's near the fire pit. I love that dark, wine-red.
There's a more medium-pink/purple one up by the easement:
And that concludes our garden survey tour for early March 2016!