Garden Plans #1: Before

I have a lot of plans for our house, but of course with plans, comes spending money. Which is not something I’m always willing to do. As a new home-owner, I need to just get over the idea that “it’s probably not worth it,” because if it’s an improvement on the house, then it’s probably worth it.

I am a gardener. Or at least, while I was in college I was a gardener. I had a beautiful rose garden that I cared for every day. It was gorgeous, and I’m not being arrogant, either. I’m sure I’ve got pictures buried in the computer somewhere.

Since I’m now a full-time adult, and don’t usually see a lot of day light unless it’s on the weekend, my gardening has consisted of purchases cheap plants that might die, because I don’t have the time or energy to care for them right now anyway. So far, most of them have lived, but I was also successful in introducing disease to my roses from Houston Garden Center’s 70% Off Sale. Damn my eyes for seeing what I thought was a good deal!

Anyway, when we bought the house, the yard was STERILE. Seriously ( but not LITERALLY). The only things (not counting the trees, because I love the oak trees!) planted in the yard were boring. They don’t bloom. They just sit there and take up water and grow out of control because they haven’t been trimmed in probably 20 years.

Boring yard


Very boring yard

I require flowers! Hydrangeas, and roses! Hibiscus! Azaleas, peonies…Anything that blooms. And like I said, the yard is the exact opposite of that. We bought our house during the Great Texas Drought of 2011 so planting things was pretty much out of the question. Plus, we JUST BOUGHT A HOUSE. We didn’t really have a lot of what you would call “liquid cash” after that, so the yard stares at me. Taunting me. But I stare right back. Planning. Scheming. Drawing landscaping plans in my sleep. Scoping out the yards of my neighbors for plant ideas and landscaping patterns.

First of all when we bought the house, there were already flowerbeds, but nothing really in them. You could see the skeletons of azaleas or something that didn’t survive, and there was some decorative grass, but that was about it in the front beds. Near the house however, were MASSIVE sago palms.

Massive Sagos of Dooooom

These things poke, they are toxic if eaten, and they are impossible to kill. And there were about 8 of them, all almost as tall as me. The front walkway was taken over, so Hubby took the walkway back. Did I mention that we moved in August in Southeast Texas? I’m very glad my job was to paint inside. But I brought him water when he looked hot! He ended up taking an axe to the palms to get them out of the ground.

Also in the backyard, there was this awful groundcover that was doing a great job growing up the garage and Live oak, collecting dead leaves, causing the garage to rot, and almost killing the tree. That also had to go. The yard isn’t very big, and 1/3 of it was being taken over by groundcover!

Ground Cover of Doooom

Bro-in-law went to work with a machete ripping the groundcover out. I brought him water when he looked hot!

One day while Hubby was out of town, I spent 2 hours ripping out more groundcover and ripping out several shrubs with my bare hands! Muahaha! Actually, they were those crappy shrubs that stay twiggy and never grow, so they were a piece of cake to rip out. But still. Bare hands. Boom.

At the moment, the backyard is still pretty sterile looking. Hubby has planted a couple fig trees near the fence, but that’s all we have planted back there. My goal this Spring is to rip out or cut out the remaining shrubs, and plant hydrangeas in their place.

Since the Rebel alliance has been smashed in the front walkway, I’m planning on planting either hosta or ferns. I like something that blooms like hosta, but I don’t know how big they get, and I don’t want a second death star of vegetation to take over the front.


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