Slowly but surely we are starting to landscape around the yard. This is despite the fact we still have trees to chop up and burn as well as the associated limbs and debris from said trees. The yard is clearing up somewhat so we took some time to find plants we thought were a steal and purchase them anyway. Not all the plants in the following photos/discussion were on sale, we bought a few full price because we either needed it to fill out the rest of the grouping (like an azalea) or it was just something we wanted (rosemary and iris).
I usually get very excited when I see something I grew in Florida for sale in a nursery here in Texas. I forget that I’m in zone 9A which will tolerate a lot of tropical and sub-tropical plants…(usually). Bulbina/bulbine is one of those plants and I had obtained mine in Florida from a swap through GardenWeb at one point in time. These pots of bulbina were found at a nursery nearby for $3 a pot! I can’t remember the regular price, I think it was upwards of $20 for these pots, so when I saw them I knew we had to have them. Eventually we will be redoing our front yard near the street. Currently we have a wooden fence along the property line up there along with several trees. Most of the trees are directly under the power lines and have been affected over the years by repeated trimmings and chemical treatments by the electric company. Needless to say the magnolias that are there do not look good. So, we will be removing those and replacing that area with lower landscaping but something that will fill in and keep some privacy. The bulbina will be part of the accent to that area.
These irises are the ‘budget’ irises, at $2 a pot. The are Louisiana irises just as the ones above are, which tolerate wet soil conditions….perfect for our swale near the street!
We bought three Turk’s Cap Hibiscus to put around one of our trees (more on the tree thing in a second) and a rosemary to replace the one that has keeled over in the garden. I think the hibiscus was on sale as well…pretty sure which is why we bought three.
So the biggest idea was working with azaleas. If left in the wild here in east/southeast Texas, pine trees, and most trees in general, would be surrounded by yaupon holly—generally. Sometimes there is another shrub around it. I don’t necessarily hate on the yaupon but Chris has come to abhor it despite its native status. Why? We’ve bushwhacked through thickets and thickets of that stuff for work and it comes in close to trying to walk through Brazilian pepper (I think the pepper is worse). I’ve had to fight to leave a few of the yaupons in the yard but our idea to replace some of them with azaleas. Another yard in our town with mature azaleas surrounding their pine trees gave us the idea. We won’t be doing this on every tree, but thought it would look nice once they matured and flowered every year.
Chris picked up most of these for $3 (or was it $5? anyway, dirt cheap!) a pot and we’ve had to supplement with purchasing one full priced of one of the varieties because we couldn’t find it elsewhere. We ended up a some big box stores buying what they had for $10 a pot, which is not as cheap but still cheaper than originally priced as they are trying to clear out their selections for winter. We also tried another well known Houston gardening chain, which we aren’t really that fond of, but they had some non-Encore brand (until then all of them had been Encore) azaleas for $3 a pot as well. Not going to complain there.
The non-Encore brand azalea was a ‘Crimson’ colored azalea and I think the rest of the ones we ended up with were ‘Autumn Carnation’, ‘Autumn Twist’, ‘Autumn Belle’, ‘Autumn Starlight’. We’d like to get a few native azaleas to round out the plantings. We’re not quite through planting them all so when they are in the ground I will have to update with how they look. Right now we have clusters of 3-4 around the trees.
Gardening on a budget is definitely a nicer way to go!