With client work and busy summer schedules taking up the majority of our time, progress on our own house has been slow. Not that there’s much left, mainly the pool liner (and hooking up the mechanics to make it function) and the pool kitchen cabinets. Some outdoor progress happens while needing little effort on our part.
Our CorTen rust steel siding continues to patina and darken, creating a look similar to stained board and batten from the road.
Plants have gone crazy since the last garden update two months ago. In early June, I added nine more lavender plants along our road frontage, and they’ve doubled in size since. It’s hard to beat that bright purple, the heavenly scent, and the low water usage.
An Autumn Joy sedum is ready to burst open with flowers.
The row of Karl Foerster grasses are over five feet tall, and a far cry from the puny little plants from three years ago. Russian Sage have seeded to other areas down the slope, nestling in areas that would be impossible for me to add a plant.
Placed between the road and the front walkway, the grasses create a living privacy fence of sorts. The Limelight hydrangea is a late bloomer, just now filling in with white flower clusters.
Another row of grasses soften the tall front deck railing, and the row of Black Eyed Susans in front add a burst of cheery yellow.
New this year, I planted a low growing succulent to soften the front of the fountain.
A stray Virginia Creeper vine has crept through the deck, growing in a little cluster behind the fountain. Virginia Creeper spreads quickly, overtaking surrounding plants, but it’s relatively contained here.
In the back, the Snowball Viburnum planted three years ago has gone crazy, proudly standing over 6 feet tall,
Both Russian Sage and Catmint are drought tolerant and attract bees. Both have gotten huge! The Catmint was over four feet in diameter, taking up half the walkway, before I hacked it back.
A Honeysuckle vine is quickly covering the metal garden sphere, filling the air with that beautiful scent.
Our landscape was definitely a challenge for me, desperately wanting greenery without the impracticality and expense of grass. Now that the plants have had time to mature, the previously rock covered hillside is looking less barren by the day.
An Annabelle Hydrangea near the house has thrived, producing flower balls bigger than my head.
Native Yucca continue to pop up at random, no hole digging required. Ignore the chipping patio pots, lesson learned: don’t get painted planters.
As time allows, I water plants and pull weeds that keep coming back. Sure, it takes some time and effort, but it beats a high water bill and mowing weekly.
What was once an obstacle to this novice gardener has become a highlight. The slope is dotted with height, texture, and color grass could never accomplish. I’ve only started caring and learning about plants in the last three years, but I no longer feel overwhelmed with what to do.