Gardening and Flowerbeds ūüĆł

Colorful rose moss and purslane look great planted in the ground or in pots.
Colorful rose moss and purslane look great planted in the ground or in pots.

Is any flowerbed every finished? There is always weeding, pruning, and watering. However, we have just about completed all the planting for the year. We have come across some really good finds recently, so I thought I would share what little gardening knowledge I have.

Yes, I have a willing spirit, but a black thumb! Mike on the other hand is a really good gardener. My wedding present was raise garden beds. As soon as he completes the other two hundred things on his list, I am sure he will actually install them!

Here is what little I know:

1. Self watering planters are the bomb. Mike ordered the red beauties seen at the end of the post a few years ago. They still look brand new even though Mike uses them on the front porch. They are a bit pricey, but they look great and work well.  Click here to shop for the planters.

2. Succulents are perfect in hot, dry summers in Texas. We plant lots of Purslane, Rose Moss and succulents of every shape and size.

3. Auto-drip systems and sprinkler systems are a must. We don’t have much time, so what little time we have has to be spent on things we can’t get help on, such as weeding. We gladly take the help of a sprinkler timer or drip timer.

I love the way this edging defines the flower bed.
This edging defines the flower bed and looks great!

4. Mike installed this nice flower bed edging this year. It is a bit expensive, but if it holds up it will be worth it. It was easy to install, looks great and creates much-needed definition to the border.

Crepe myrtle in need of a trim.
Crepe myrtle in need of a trim.

5. Trees look so much nicer when they have been trimmed up. It reminds me of the Mexico scenes from the Sex in the City movie – if you get my meaning.

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6. I enjoy learning about new plants and trying them out. A couple of years ago, after a trip to Natchez and Natchitoches, we wanted to plant some Tree Olives. We found two at a nursery in Garland. One is not doing well, but the other is really growing and full of green leaves. It has not produced its signature scented flowers yet, or else I have missed them. I now want some elderberry bushes. Mike planted lots of tropical plants this year; probably because it has been so hot and humid. He gets some old faithfuls like Mandevilla and Mexican petunias but also tries some new plants like ??? and ???.

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7. In the last eleven years, we have planted a pecan tree, 3 maple trees, 2 pin oaks, and sixteen cedars and pines. They haven’t and won’t all survive, but as trees die and/or removed by TxDot, there has to be some growing that will replace their shade. My point is that it is really good to plan for the future when you are evaluating your tree needs.

I love small fun garden surprises. This small ceramic gnome was a gift to Mike from his sister. It makes me smile!
I love small fun garden surprises. This small ceramic gnome was a gift to Mike from his sister. It makes me smile!

8. Good, sharp implements are required. I spend a bit more for my clippers, but they last and last. I wanted to cry recently when I discovered that my really nice hand clippers had chips in the blade. I obviously was careless with them. Keep your implements dry to prevent rusting; oiled to prevent sticking, and sharp to make clean cuts. I like to store my hand clippers and snips in a bucket of sand. Any moisture will be whisk away.  I have been happy with everything I have purchased online from A.M. Leonard.  It is expensive, but they hold up.

What are your gardening secret weapons? What advise would you give to an inexperienced gardener?

I love this planter, which is filled with yellow and lilac purslane.
I love this planter, which is filled with yellow and lilac purslane.
The plants hide the drip hose.
The plants hide the drip hose.
These are a form of succulent and as so easy to keep alive during a long, hot Texas summer.
These are a form of succulent and as so easy to keep alive during a long, hot Texas summer.