The Backyard Garden Evolves

backyard garden November 2012

     This is a photo of the backyard garden taken when we bought the house at the end of November.  There was nothing in the garden but two rose bushes. 

April 2013
     I threw some daffodils into the garden in December so there would be some color in the spring.

June 2013
                                      This is a photo of the garden today.

               The first plants I bought in the spring for the garden were hostas.

hostas planted
                               Here are what the hostas look like now.

hardy begonias
                   The next plants to go in the garden were hardy begonias.

Japanese anemones
                                      I added some Japanese anemones.


                 For a quick splash of color, I put in some petunias, new guinea impatiens and alyssum.

boxwoods and nandinas
     Dividing the backyard garden are five boxwood and three nandina bushes which were here when we bought the house.  Some of the boxwoods will be transplanted to other areas of the yard eventually.  Among the bushes I planted a ghost fern, some sweet woodruff and primula.  These were given to me by a gardening friend.

ghost fern
sweet woodruff


     On the other side of the bushes there is a pink dogwood tree under which I planted tulips in the spring.

      Now a mix of red, white and pink begonias occupies the space where the tulips were.  This garden is still a work in progress.  More plants will be added in the future.

Side Garden Additions

side yard garden

     The side garden is starting to fill in as I have added more plants over the last two weeks.  I'll be adding a few more annuals and perennials over the next few months as I watch the plants grow and see how much room is still available.  Here are photos of what I've recently added.

glossy abelia
     Glossy abelia is a deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub that has rounded, gracefully arched branches.  It can grow six feet tall or more, has glossy green leaves, and blooms from mid-summer to autumn with fragrant, funnel-shaped, white flowers tinged with pink.  I have never had an abelia in any of my yards.

oriental fountain grass Karley Rose
     On each side of the garden I have planted the oriental fountain grass Karley Rose.  It has graceful, fluffy flower spikes.  It can grow two to three feet and blooms from June to September.  This is a new grass for me.

gallardia Arizona Sun

yellow foxglove
     A gardening friend gave me some yellow foxglove.

     The same friend also gave me some goldenrod. I don't know the species as there are over 50 species.  It has bright yellow flowers that bloom late summer into fall.  It is sometimes considered a weed, but many insects interact with goldenrod, uncluding bees, butterflies, and moths.

      I filled in some space with annuals like red salvia.



coreopsis grandiflora
     Although supposedly deer-resistant, like everything I have planted in this garden, I presume the deer sampled the flowers which are missing off the top of this coreopsis and the zinnias.

      For the past two weeks, roses have been blooming all over the neighborhood.  The rose bushes in my back garden have bloomed also.  I have no idea what kind they are.  The rose bushes were here when we moved in in February.

Side Garden Makeover

fallen tree 
     Last weekend it was so cool we had to turn the heat on, and now this weekend we are having a heat wave of 90 degree days.  The heavy rain and winds from the thunderstorm that passed through our area last Monday caused one of the trees that line the back yard to fall.  Tomorrow it will be cleared away.

     For the last two weeks I have busy planning and putting in a new side yard garden. 

side yard gardens
     This is what the side yard looked like in mid-April.  Each of the three raised beds had only one rose bush in them when we bought the house the end of November last year.  I planted the daffodils at that time.

bed edges removed
     Two weeks ago my husband removed the boards that defined the three raised beds.  They look like railroad ties.  They had huge spikes through them because they were two boards thick.  It was a big job getting them out of the ground.  He had to use a chain saw, a pry bar, and some other tool he rented to get them out.

new side garden
     I combined all three beds into one, with the rose bushes defining the left, right, and back edges of the new garden.  The grass my husband cut out between the raised beds we used as sod to bring in the edges of the former beds to the rose bushes.  I added a few plants and mulched over the whole garden.  Here are photos of the plants I added.


black-eyed Susans

white daisies

Japanese anemone and Siberian iris

buddleia bush


plants waiting to go in the garden
     The next post will feature photos of the second round of plants pictured above that were planted in the new garden.  The last three weeks I have been in full planting mode not only on this side garden, but the back yard garden and along the front of the house.  I wanted to get most of the plants in before the cicadas arrived, but it seems our area is on the edge of the infestation and will be spared.