Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Front Yard Flower Bed

I was approached by a neighbor who was interested in adding some curb appeal to her front flower bed.  Some of the requirements were:

1.  Easy to care for - comes back every year.
2.  Low water - drought tolerant plants.
3. To use the plants she already had.
4.  Grasses

All this on a tight budget. 

Pulling the colors from the stone and the brick.  And working with Lowe's "clearance".  I came up with the following...

6 - Purple Fountain Grass
2 - Orange Bulbine
 (divided two containers to make six plants)
2 - Gold Dust Crotons 
(divided into 3 plants)
3 - Sweet Broom
3 - Golden Shrub Daisies
1 - Indian Blanket
18 - Angelonia
1 - Philodendron
3 - Apricot Twist Wallflower
2 - Petunias (thanks to my 5 year old)
Can you believe that all that was less than $70!!!!
I chose the purple fountain grass which really plays off the light stone and accents the dark brick.
The mostly yellow and orange plants where chosen for the same reason, to play off the orange in the stone.  The angelonia, petunias and celosia were added for annual color until the perennials have had a chance to fill in.   The croton and philodendron are a little tender in Central Texas therefore by planting them close to the home they can absorb some the heat in the winter and can quickly and easily be covered before a hard freeze. 
The celosia were a mother's day gift to the homeowner and she asked it be incorporated near the walk.  I divided the larger container into three smaller plants to balance the fiery color. 
The far corner of the bed had a boxwood that had died during a recent drought and I have recommended it be replaced.  The lawn is scheduled to be mowed and trimmed.  A light dusting of mulch to top it off might be a good esthetic addition however it isn't necessary because it was heavily mulched to begin with. 
A lot people buy annuals because of the color and because often they seem less expensive up front.  The most expensive part of this "make over" was the annuals which give it a pop of color. 
This was a super fun project because of the challenge the budget presented. 
I can't wait for it to fill in.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Zilker Botanical Garden - Austin, TX

Today I had an appointment in Austin.  On the way home I stopped for about an hour at
Zilker Botanical Gardens. 
I knew I probably just missed the early summer "show".  However the most amazing part of a garden is that it is always changing.  There is always something in bloom.
After visiting a local family's garden this week, I have been motivated to take garden tours.  It has been a bit of a rough week for me.  Visiting, listening, and sharing ideas with other gardeners has made some of the bumps a little smoother. 
I have walked away feeling uplifted and inspired.   It has boosted my confidence and left me humbled at the same time.
 I am focusing right now on learning about native trees.  This is an area I lack experience.  Walking through Zilker Park I was able to really observe the texture and shape of the trees.  To distinguish between deciduous and evergreens. 
It is not surprising that water features are often incorporated in a landscape design.  Running water seems to wash away tension and stress.  There is a feeling of bounty when there is water present.  

Monday, May 6, 2013

Total Sink Makeover $86.37 plus tax

Ok, so this isn't necessarily a garden post however I thought I would share a few of the low cost upgrades we have made to the kitchen.   Just a little history...we purchased our standard out of the box home about six years ago.  We have made several improvements over the last few years.  However the kitchen upgrades are the ones that I value the most. 

Total Sink Makeover $86.37 plus tax

For less than $100.00, we were able to make this part of the kitchen not only more functional but prettier too.

The dish soap dispenser $25.00 approx. from Home Depot  was an easy addition that I "installed" myself.
Most of the standard sinks come with a little round pop-out cover, usually to the right of the faucet. I removed it with a butter knife and installed the soap dispenser.

The door knobs $19.99. I purchased at Target in a 10 pack.  The sell templates for kitchen cabinet knobs which make installation a snap.  My father in law installed these in the entire kitchen a few years back and made his own template.  I didn't add drawer pulls to the pull out because they bother me while working at the sink however for just a few dollars more they would be an easy and pretty addition.

Tip Out Sponge Trays $19.99 again from Home Depot were easy to install.  The façade of these false drawers were easy to pop off by pushing from the inside.  The trays come with all the hardware you need to install the trays. No special tools were needed other than a screwdriver. 

The glass tiles $3.99 (clearance priced) normally $5.95 at Home Depot.  I only used one sheet and cut each line out to install.  I purchased a small tub of tile adhesive $6.47 and non-sanded tile grout $4.98.


Total Sink Makeover $86.37 plus tax


Sunday, May 5, 2013


Blackberry Blooms ~
I caught these at the end of their bloom however there are many of them so hopeful we will have lots of fruit this year.

Pomegranate Bloom ~
This is the first year we have had any flowers. 
Which seems to be right on schedule. This is the third year since it was planted.  

Grapes taking over the fence!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Modesty Garden

African Daisies - Understated Joy
Daisies remind me of being young and carefree. 

Forget - Me - Not
The true blues are rare in the garden.
 If I am going to have the blues, I would rather have these little forget-me-nots.

with a demure blush


Veronica Hybrids 
 The delicate white stocks of flowers compliment
the bold leaves of the Yucca and are a bees' favorite.


Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My Busy Week

Front Flower Bed

This year I thought I would try snapdragons from seed.
I just threw two handfuls of seed toward the back of the bed. 

Tomatoes ~ Peppers

Thanks to Food is Free I was able to fill out the rest of my tomato bed. 
I picked up a flat of tomatoes which I have been handing out to neighbors and will be donating the rest to the Hutto Community Garden.