Garden Growth– One Year Later

Last summer, good ole Gretchen (my garden guru) came to stay with us for a week to help us garden beginners install her customized landscape plan in our front yard. The visit was a great success and we went from dead, brown and lackluster to manicured, verdant and promising.


We couldn’t have asked for a better change (an upgrade that felt even better since we shed our own sweat to achieve it), but nearly a year later, it’s pretty magnificent to see how the plan has really taken shape.

Last June…

curved yardThis May…


Last summer…

paver pathway This spring…



The front yard as seen from the driveway.



Watching the garden morph through the seasons has been more than gratifying, it’s been a valuable learning experience. Through trial and error, we’ve gotten used to practicing regular weeding, pruning, re-mulching and other necessary upkeep tricks of the trade. What fun it’s been to figure out how to keep a garden alive, happy and thriving.


We’ve also experimented with ways to make watering more efficient. In the front bed, Heath repurposed an old pvc pipe to make an irrigation system we can effortlessly hook up to the hose for hassle-free watering.


We can only guess how it will change from now til next year.


More ideas from my garden coach

Heath and I have been spending a lot of time in Denton lately, which for us means spending a lot of time in my mom’s garden. It’s not a bad place to be. Over the past few weeks, her front yard has really started to burst with color.

A view of the front yard from my mother’s walkway.


The charismatic front porch.

Looking out toward the street. (While I’m taking photos, good old mom is hard at work mowing.) 


A foot path through the flora.

Flower bed detail

Very Alice in Wonderland

Her terracotta terrace.

Absolutely the prettiest tomato cage I’ve ever seen.

After telling my mom I liked her sun dial, she immediately went out and bought me one. I guess I need to start aiming a little higher if that’s how she’s gonna play it.

The garden lining the driveway.

She is so creative with her use of color and texture. I can’t wait for her to come makeover our space. Happy gardening!

And so It begins

“It” being  the grand plan for the backyard. My genius landscaping mother (who I blogged about here) created quite the master plan for our backyard, and we have just now implemented step one…

This funky little space, before we moved in, housed a shed built by the previous owners, but it was demolished before we came into the picture, and we were left with rocky soil and lots o’ shade. We gave an herb garden a shot in the old space, but it didn’t quite work out. There was just too much shade from both the back patio and heath’s horizontal fence.

So we created what we are calling the zen garden…

Yes, nothing says “zen” quite like empty wine bottles and a whiskey barrel. Perhaps “The Alcoholic’s Garden” would have been more appropriate. (To be fair, we had help collecting the wine bottles for the border and the whiskey barrel planter was purchased elsewhere, though it still smelled of whiskey once we got our hands on it.) The new set up is perfect for the space. The rockiest parts were transformed into a mulch-covered path, and once the bay tree gets a little larger, we will have a spectacular shade tree paradise.

Fun fact: The bay tree has origins in Greek mythology. Legend has it, the roof of the temple of Apollo was covered entirely with bay leaves to protect the Gods from disease, witchcraft and lightening. The leaves of a bay tree are also the predominate leaf used in the laurels of olympians and poets. So…we’re in good shape when it comes to poetry and witchcraft and being Gods.

Things is starting to look real fine.

Garden Guru

Seeing as how spring is in full force, the trees have budded and beautiful blooms are taking over the city, Heath and I have really started to kick gardening into high gear. After all, we don’t have much time until our current pleasant weather patterns of moderate temperatures and weekend showers turns into 100-degree heat and harsh drought the Texas summers are famous for. Better get that garden in top condition ASAP.

And while I like to scour the net for design inspiration for both the indoors and out, my favorite source for backyard ideas to emulate is my mom’s garden. The woman has not only got a green thumb, but a remarkable sense of space, color and texture. She is gifted in creating colorful bursts of life in unexpected places and pairing native plants together in exuberant bouquets that stimulate the senses. What’s more, is she creates outdoor rooms and social spaces in areas that, before she gets to them, seemed void of any real function or purpose. She’s a force to be reckoned with when it comes to gardening, and every visit home reveals some fantastic new discovery in landscape design.

Not only does she practice fastidious attention to detail and preparation on her garden, but she has set her sights on ours as well. Over the past few weeks she has spent hours upon hours crafting a master landscaping plan for the gardens at the doodle house. And yesterday, we began work on phase one. I foresee big and beautiful changes in our garden future…inspired by our favorite garden guru.

New home, new garden

Moving furniture is easy. Figuring out how to develop a new landscaping plan from scratch, not so much. Establishing a visually appealing space that can accommodate doodle romping, veggie growing and human entertaining is easier said than done (and it’s not even easily said). The yard has a long, long way to go, but some semblances of life and greenery are beginning to take form. Behold the early stages of the new back yard.

And because they’re so pretty, a few of the fleurs we have going on INSIDE the house.