Saturday, April 7, 2012

April 7

What a difference a year and the weather can make in a garden. 

Below are photos from April 7, 2011, each followed by a photo from today, April 7, 2012. It is amazing to see the difference in the growth of the plants. 

For perspective, the Winter of 2010-2011 was one of the coldest on record. The Spring of 2011 was rather warm and dry. It was followed by the Summer of 2011, which was one of the hottest and driest on record. Then we had an extremely mild and relatively wet winter of 2011-2012. The Spring of 2012 has been a little warmer than average with about average rainfall.

The only major change that I made to the garden in 2011 was to remove the snowball viburnum and replace it with a stock tank. All of the other changes were shaped by the weather and the natural spreading of the plants.


2011


2012


2011


2012


2011

2012

24 comments:

  1. Beautiful! It's amazing to see how well the prairie rebounded from the tough two years we had.

    This has been a wonderful year for gardens in Texas. Hope it stays that way.

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    1. It has been an amazing time for the garden so far this year, Shirley. I hope the good weather continues.

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  2. What a difference a year makes. It looks beautiful.

    I agree with Shirley....I hope the good weather holds up, and we continue to get some rain.

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    1. Thanks Linda. I knew the plants were a little fuller this year, but I was really surprised to see the differences since last year.

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  3. That is gorgeous this year, I am so impressed!

    I just planted seeds last fall, small plants showing up here and there... it looks like you are mulching; if so, what do you use?

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    1. Thanks Anonymous person. The mulch is shredded cedar and prairie plant pieces. When I trim plants, I cut them into small pieces and spread them over the soil, unless it is a plant that reseeds heavily.

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  4. Looking great. I can't wait until I have the same "before and after" pictures of my new garden!

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    1. My garden is about three and a half years old now, Kaveh. It was not until last fall that I got some really good "after" shots. Looking forward to seeing your "after" shots.

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  5. It's always amazing to me to see how the garden responds to nature's cycles. Fantastic review of your gardening year.

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    1. Thanks Bernie, I have the right plants to take nature's extremes in stride.

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  6. Wow! But, might I say that it didn't look too shabby in 2011, all things considered!

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    1. Ramona, I thought the garden looked pretty good too in 2011, but "wow" is right for this year.

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  7. An incredible difference - it's amazing how much things change from one year to the next. Of course, that's one of the things that addicts me to gardening!

    I'm guessing that your lupines are blue bonnets. Are the yellow, daisy-ish flowers a coreopsis? And the pinky-red? A penstemon? (It seems too early for an agastache, which is the other flower that comes to mind.) And the softer blue spikes in the background - a Salvia farinacea? You are just enough ahead of us (and south enough) that I'm not completely sure of the native plant palette that you have available to you.

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    1. Gardens are ever-changing, unless all you have is a lawn. I knew if I did not label my plants, someone would ask. You are correct, the lupines are bluebonnets. The yellow flowers that fill the prairie are four nerve daisies. My coreopsis are not blooming yet. The pinky-red flowers around the stock tank are autumn sage. There is a purplish flower nearby that is gulf coast penstemon. There is a close up in the April 1 post. There is some mealycup sage, Salvia farinacea, scattered around. They are about three feet high and just starting to bloom.

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    2. Thanks so much for identifying things. Your autumn sage is gorgeous - I've never seen it looking so tall and "spiky", so "sage-like," and hence my inability to identify it! Looking at the USDA Plant Profile website, I learned that the four nerve daisies are native to our area, so I'm going to have to look around and see if I can find any! It's always a good day when I learn about a new-to-me native that I may want to try out.

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  8. Like Ramona said, 2011 looked pretty awesome too! I'm impressed, love it, gorgeous and "natural".

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    1. Thanks 1st Man. When are you going to start planting?

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    2. I'd like to start doing some planting soon. I'd like to pick your brain. Is there a good book you'd recommend for some native Texas species? Or maybe a website? The house is pier and beam and I'd like some stuff around it, but then I was roaming around parts of the property and there are some great "meadow" areas where I'd just like to plop down some natives to add something different to the landscape (which is currently random wildflowers, grasses and lots of mesquite trees of various sizes. Feel free to email me if that's easier: houstonray AT gmail DOT com

      Thanks for your time and for your inspirational journey.

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    3. I sent an email to you 1st Man. The best book about TX natives that I know of is Sally Wasowski's Native Texas Plants - Landscaping Region by Region. It is a must have.

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  9. I love progress pictures, almost as much as before and afters (like those in your previous post). Just curious, why did you take out the snowball viburnum? Because it doesn't match the prairie theme?

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  10. Abbey, I am known for removing perfectly healthy plants, besides, I had to find a place for the stock tank. The real reason is that the viburnum was getting too large for the location. It was getting too tall, too wide, and limbs that rested on the ground would root and the plant got even larger.

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  11. It really looks great, Michael. I love the last picture and the balance the salvia greggii provides. Do you rememeber the name of the color of that one? I have one called Raspberry in the parkway I'm going to take some cuttings of because the color is amazing like these. Looks great! I love the Husker's Red Penstemon too. Really striking.

    -Curtis

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  12. Thanks Curtis. I do not now the exact name of that salvia. I call it coral. Maybe that was the name on the tag? I read that this shade is most attractive to hummingbirds. It seems to be true.

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  13. Amazing what a little rain will do!

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