How does your garden grow (part 2)?

Happy Friday!

I’m back with a more picture filled post- I hope.  This time about the non-edible stuff we have growing around our house.

Here’s what the front looked like when we bought the house:

You’ve seen this shot a few times before, since it’s the header of the blog!

Blah blah and blah out front- I hated that it was all just green, green and more green.  Nicely manicured, sure.  And LOW maintenance.  But seriously- yawn.

The first thing we did was rip out the first row of bushes you can see- the really low lying ones.  Those were harder to do than I thought they would be, but they had to go- they were scruffy and boring.  Actually we ripped out all the bushes on the right side of the house- the ones kind of in front of the garage/off the side of the house.  Then- we waited a whole year before doing anything!!  Haha- this was because we were too busy working inside to do much to the front.

But this spring, we finally got our hands dirty!

May 2011

You can see just how much we ripped out- really the only original plants that stayed were the farthest back row- I *think* those are some sort of holly because they get a red berry in the fall and have prickly leaves- they are super low maintenance and I actually kind of like them.

We planted hostas (first row), azaleas (middle row) and 2 dwarf butterfly bushes (off to the right).  There’s also a tea olive tree (to the right of the bird bath, behind the butterfly bushes) that we did manage to plant a year ago and it’s doing awesome.  Yeah, I know it’s green- but it gets these lovely small, cream colored flowers twice a year that smell AMAZING.  The tag on it read “a tree that makes you glad you live in the south”- how could you NOT buy that?!?  Oh yeah, there’s also a hydrangea hiding in there, you can’t see it in any of the photos though. 

I’ve also got some tulips and daffodils lining all the way around the beds that come up yearly- well, they came up this year, seeing as I only planted them last fall.  I hope they come up again next year! (We’ve tramped around in these beds so much I’m a little worried we did some damage to the bulbs)

This was before we did ripped out more bushes and planted- March 2011

How are things doing 4 months later?  Take a look:

September 2011- can’t wait for things to get bigger!!

The hostas took a beating from the neighborhood deer- we’ve had a DRY summer here in Georgia and there just wasn’t a lot of food available for them to eat.  Luckily they only munched a couple and actually left a good portion of the plant in-tact- I have faith that they will come back next year just fine.

The butterfly bushes have seriously tripled in size:

love these- they make me smile!

The azaleas are doing pretty well, considering they don’t like clay soil (which we have in abundance here).  We got one variety that blooms all year, and it’s not disappointed:

*Almost* more flowers than leaves…can’t wait for this guy to get bigger!

We also planted some plants in a small, narrow bed to the right of our garage.  There used to be a rather large (ie taller than the garage) holly tree in there as well as some nondescript green bushes.  We were afraid the holly tree’s roots were going to do some damage to the foundation, so out it came.  I wish I had a good before shot, but here’s the after:

The holly was located almost where that bright blue flower pot is- TOO close to the house!  Now we’ve got a crepe myrtle (farthest back) that has lovely dark purple leaves and magenta flowers, lantana (love love love these flowers!), another bush that I’m drawing a blank on as to what it is, but it gets these lovely light pink flowers and is pretty common to see in the south.  Again- I can’t wait for this bed to fill in, but it’s looking decent right now.

Close up of lantana, just because I love it so much. 

What’s in that blue flower pot you ask?  Morning glories and moonflowers that I started from seed- so excited that these are thriving.  If you’ve never grown a moonflower, do it!  They smell so amazing, and their flowers are the size of salad plates.  Mine took all summer before it produced a flower, but now I can’t stop it.

Moonflower blossom almost fully opened- too bad monitors aren’t scratch and sniff
Morning glories- so pretty!!

Well, there you have it.  That’s some of the non-edibles around our house!!  I’ve got one more post up my sleeve about the outside landscaping, so stay tuned next week.  Have a great weekend everyone!!

What’s your favorite flower that you have growing (or wish you could have growing) around your house? 

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