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Sunday, May 12, 2013

Let the sun shine

The landscaping project continues, if only in fits and starts. Our resolve to focus solely on the yard as soon as everything was moved from the old store to the new warehouse location lasted exactly one day. We were really making progress...but then the transmission went out on my SIL's truck, and it's still in the shop. As if that weren't enough, the brakes on my daughter's Subaru started grinding, so they had to be repaired too.

Throw into that mix an unexpected turn of events that resulted in quite a few lengthy family discussions about the future of the store, followed by several major decisions and some "now or never" action that put landscaping on the back burner again. (I don't know if I could possibly be any more cryptic than that, even if I tried. Suffice it to say that the news is least for us...and we're really excited, but my SIL isn't ready for me to announce anything quite yet.)

While the rest of the family took care of the brake job yesterday, I decided to get in a little container gardening. Ever the optimist, I realize that we're only experiencing a temporary setback and that, even though the yard work isn't going exactly the way I had planned, it will get done. To that end, I filled a couple of galvanized planters from CB2 with all sorts of sun-loving plants. These are going to flank my west-facing front door just as soon as the sidewalk of large stepping stones and rock is in place.

I also ordered a few new daylilies, which will be planted between the driveway and the new woven wire fence/trellis my daughter and SIL just built. Also on the to-do/buy list: an outdoor rug, some patio furniture, a huge cantilever umbrella and more container gardening (galvanized containers full of herbs and tomatoes for my daughter, horsetail reed for beneath my windows).

Galvanized planters from CB2
filled with plants that will love the afternoon sun

All the daylily varieties I chose are evergreen (as opposed to the varieties that go dormant in the winter or only retain some of their leaves). Two of the three are re-bloomers and will flower a second time each season. If you're looking for a colorful perennial for your garden that is easy to grow and authentically "mid-century," I highly recommend these plants. My grandmother was an avid gardener, and daylilies were her claim to fame.

Wounded Heart daylily

Gertrude Condon daylily

Amber Sunset daylily

Soon this trellis will be covered with coral honeysuckle,
giving our two homes a little separation/privacy.
There is an opening beside my house, and we will add stepping stones to the patio.
Shrubs have been removed, and dirt has been smoothed and cleared of debris,
awaiting the arrival of sod so the boys will have more grassy area for play.

Speaking of Grandsons #1 and #2...they have even joined in the landscaping fun, with a few colorful touches of their own beside the newly planted rosemary.

Meet Mr. Owl and Miss Mushroom

Hanging baskets of bougainvillea are doing well under the cedar overhang on the front of my house, and the trees that were just starting to put on leaves a month ago are lush and green.

Yellow bougainvillea 

Galvanized planter for herbs, tomatoes and horsetail reed

The idea is to have one of the galvanized planters under each of my windows facing the patio,
full of these horsetail reeds.

Between the two windows on the patio side of my house, we plan to build a vertical succulent garden, like this.

OK, maybe not quite this ambitious...but you get the idea.

I think we've finally agreed on this colorful outdoor rug for the patio. It will look great with my orange door and tie in equally well with their peacock blue living room, which opens onto the patio.

Torn Paper rug

My daughter plans to buy several simple stacking patio chairs that will hold up to whatever abuse the boys give them, and I've already ordered a rocking chair version in gray. The color of the umbrella is still up in the air, though I'd bet on orange or white.

Nicolette chair

You know, now that I list all the things we've decided on, as well as the things we've already accomplished, I think I'm already seeing some light at the end of the tunnel. And, as things worked out, it looks like we're going to be able to spend all day today in the yard. It pays to be an optimist.

Happy Mother's Day!


  1. Sounds likes there is alot going on in your parts in every aspect!! Looking forward to hearing the news down the track. Grandson's garden touches are so cute! The honeysuckle trellis idea is great - greenery and privacy - win/win.

    1. Yes, we've been busy and likely to be a lot busier soon. We're loving the idea of a solid wall of greenery dividing our houses...privacy, but with a softness and nice fragrance that makes it more inviting than a hard barrier.

  2. It`s starting to look great in your garden. I love the idea of a vertical garden. And I love Mr Owl =)

    1. Thanks! I think if we could devote two or three full days to it, we could get it finished. With any luck, we can spend all of today working on it.

  3. It looks wonderful already! I so wish I could have a garden full of succulent, but we don't have the climate for them... I better keep them inside:-) Love the lilies, and the owl and mushroom! It's gonna be perfect!

    1. I was worried that we'd have to find a place to bring in the vertical garden during the winter, but from everything I've read, sedum and hens & chicks are hardy Alpine plants and can withstand winter temperatures to -30F (-34C) as long as they are covered with plastic and don't get wet. They're also drought resistant, which is perfect for Texas. I'm working on an online order right now.

  4. The exterior of the nest is looking lovely Dana, landscaping done or not. I've never thought of growing bougainvillea from a hanging basket before. What a great idea! That yellow looks stunning against the grey.

    1. Hanging baskets are just about the only way we get to enjoy bougainvillea here. Although winters in Texas are mild, we still have plenty of days when the temperature drops below freezing, so we can't grow them in the ground. I've never had a lot of luck bringing them in for the winter, so I usually buy new baskets every year. This is my first time for yellow, and I love them.

  5. Everything is looking beautiful. I can't wait to hear the store news! What else do you have up your sleeves? Grey and orange of the unit looks lovely. Happy Mother's Day Dana.

    1. My daughter said we may be able to announce the store news tomorrow. :) We'll see if my SIL concurs.

      Happy Mother's Day to you too, Carmel!

  6. Okay, things are looking brighter. The galvanized planters and the vertical succulent garden are awesome ideas.

    1. Yes, things are definitely looking up. We're headed to Lowe's and Home Depot in a few minutes for mulch and stepping stones. Let the landscaping begin...again. :)

  7. Dana, I think you are making steady progress on all fronts! Very excited for your family and the great news!