One of my biggest goals with our new backyard since we moved in, has been to add color. This, coming from someone who really knows nothing about landscaping, but knows for sure that she feels like she’s suffocating if she goes too long without being around trees and flowers for too long! I knew when we bought this house that our backyard would essentially be an eye-sore for a while, and we’d basically be starting from scratch. Turns out though, it’s no easy task landscaping in Texas! There’s not only the outrageously hot summer to think about, but also the soil. Which in our backyard, is mostly a clay consistency. After finally planting our first two trees last summer, two pink crepe myrtles (which I LOVE and planted for each of my precious babies and can’t wait to see them bloom again this year!), this summer is going to be all about adding color by way of shrubs and flowers.
We’d originally planned on building a raised garden bed in the corner of the yard, but after deciding neither one of us really wanted to take on that big of a project right now, Adam let me run with flowers instead. I’m still hoping to eventually add a garden though, once our plates are a little less full. I had been itching to add something between the crepe myrtles, and knew some Knockout Rose bushes would be perfect! I picked up 4, and planted them over this past weekend! (All by myself! I am woman hear me roar!) Two between the crepe myrtles, and one flanking either side. They look pretty scrawny right now, and we haven’t added mulch or anything, but one day these roses are going to be big and gorgeous, and line this side of our fence beautifully. I’m so excited to watch them grow and take up more space!
To fill up the corner of the yard where the garden was supposed to go, I decided to simply fill it with a hodgepodge of planted flowers for now. Since I’m very much beginning to find my green thumb and learn about all things gardening and plant-y, I decided to keep it as cheap as possible and easily maintainable. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself with too big of a commitment, but I think I netted out at a good place. Not going to lie, I basically went around our local gardening center and picked up anything that said “full sun” or “idiot proof”. Not really on the latter, but kind of really. Our backyard gets direct sun the majority of the day, and only parts are shaded at a time in the morning or evening. Because of this, I knew it would be a huge waste to plant anything that can’t survive constant sun! I know for sure I grabbed some zinnias, petunias, a grey fuzzy thing, some kind of lily, freesias aka “rainbow flowers” that Adeline picked out, an aloe plant, and a couple mixes. I also picked up some fun mismatched pots I could re-use, then got to work getting it all planted!
I’m loving my little flower corner in the backyard now! I’m no landscaper, and have no idea what I’m doing but it’s amazing how a few flowers can really bring life to a space! Adeline has been having a blast helping me water them, and it’s so cute. She uses her little watering pail and I think she’s really enjoying the responsibility of the task. In the biggest pot in the corner, we planted the flowers that she picked out for herself, and I’m hoping she’ll enjoy watching them grow throughout the summer. (Let’s hope the things actually grow! I mean, you just water them, right?? Ha!)
On my wish list is a large wooden barrel flower pot eventually, like this, because I love the hint of rustic it adds and I think either a mixture of wildflowers or one large plant would look really pretty! I’d also LOVE to find a hydrangea bush, but they don’t do well in direct sun so I think that dream is a no-go. I love that my knockout roses are going to bloom year after year, so I would like to find another perennial type plant to go in the corner that would be low maintenance, like another rose bush or small tree. Or maybe azaleas even? Just thinking out-loud here! So much to learn and explore!
Spending almost an entire afternoon outside, digging in the dirt, planting flowers, listening to music, and playing with the kids was exactly what my soul needed. It felt so good to focus on something away from the computer screen. I am really enjoying discovering my inner green thumb, and am so excited to finally feel like our backyard looks inhabitable! It will be nice to have another reason to spend more time outside, and I’m looking forward to adding to my collection, caring for my current plant-babies, and dreaming about more ways to make our little backyard comfy cozy.
I’ll leave you with a few tips I’ve learned thus far!
- When planting a shrub or bush, loosen up the root ball with your fingers so it can better establish its roots in the new soil!
- Yellow usually means too much water, and brown usually means not enough water.
- Some bagged soil is for potted plants and some is for in-ground use only.
- Perennial means year after year, and Annual means seasonally – meaning they die after one season.
- Use a 50/50 mixture of old and new soil when planting knockout roses.
- Succulents need lots of sun but not much water. It’s very possible to water a succulent to death!
- Also very possible to water any plant to death!
- Planting individual petunias is a huge pain – just buy a big pot of already planted ones to save yourself the trouble, ha!
- For petunias, you need to pull off the dead flowers so new ones can grow in behind.
Tell me all your gardening tips, tricks, and favorites!