April 14, 2010

Evolution of a Garden

Here is an overview of how the garden looked this morning from the deck. The crazy color bed is at top and the cooler, pastel bed, below, featuring an orchid tree (Bauhinia lunariodes), at left and a baby arroyo sweetwood (Myrospermum sousanum) with the pom- pom of chartreuse leaves. The plant at the corner of the deck in the bottom photo is a dwarf Cara Cara orange. The leaves hanging into the upper right corner belong to a Xylosma (Xylosma congestum), one of my favorites.

Look at the xylosma when I planted them in Spring 2007. Notice that are no center beds yet.

And here they are today 3 years later. Still not big enough to give
me the privacy I want from the neighbors, but petty impressive growth nonetheless. I love their glossy evergreen leaves that have a hint of red when new. They are drooping over now from all the growth they've put on already this spring but will  have an upright form once they get a little stronger.
The orchid tree was planted in early November 2007 when I carved out this bed from the grassy back yard. The boulders you see were all pried out from the nasty sticky clay that makes up that part of the yard. I enlarged this bed over this past winter and added in the arroyo sweetwood last spring.
I put a visiting friend to work in April 2008 digging out the crazy color bed that you see in the picture at the top of this post. I had already transplanted the "Pink Velour" crepe myrtle from the back fence line the previous fall. The green hose helps to outline the shape of the bed. That "bald" spot there close to the bag is part of a gigantic rock that took an enormous amount of work to get out. Unfortunately, my friend left the next day and it took me another week to finish digging it out. Did get some nice decorative boulders, though. After digging in lots of compost, topsoil and green sand here is the bed 13 days from start. That would be Miss Minx supervising from the brick edgers aka "The Kitty Highway".

Gardens for me are not a static thing but constantly evolving to reflect my interests and growing knowledge, to incorporate new ideas learned from other gardens and gardeners. So the pictures of my garden today are as important as a family photo album that documents a child's growth and development. My garden is my baby. And so is Miss Minx, of course.


  1. Was hoping to see some pictures of the Sweet Arroywood because I live in Central Texas and got 3 at a Master Gardener plant sale. How great is that! And I'm trilled to see yours growing too. I hope to plant several herbs, but they may have to wait till the renovation work is done. Where in Texas are you? Your garden looks terrific. ABSOLUTELY TERRIFIC!


    1. Hi Crystal, how great that you have 3 new trees for your yard. The arroyo sweetwood has been a good tree, grows fast and has a lovely branching habit. The wood is soft though and this past winter some critters got up in it causing some branches to bend almost to the ground and split. Fortunately it has rebounded and hopefully will regain its former beauty😊.
      I live in Austin and the Natural Gardener has a lovely mature specimen of this tree.
      Thank you for visiting. Best wishes with your garden.