The Good...

Our garden is looking pretty lousy right now.  It's been an interesting summer and with the Plant Geek unable to really help out, things are looking pretty bad in a few different spots in the garden.  Today he had a procedure done on his back, so I had to take the day off.  I managed to get the lawn mowed before we had to be at the doctor's office.  It definitely made me feel better about how things looked.  Something about the nice evenly cut lawn seems to perk up the landscape.  While a lot of the beds are weedy messes, they will eventually get cleared out.  In the mean time, I thought I would share a little bit of "the good" stuff we have going on right now, so in no particular order, here we go...

The new mangaves (or is it mangave) have settled into their new home really well.  I'm pretty smitten with them.  Every time I head outside to snap a few pictures, I end up down at their end of the pool.  The beautyberries are sort of swamping them, they are so heavy with berries. I may need to rig up something to provide them a little more support next year.

While most of the tropical garden around the pool is pretty weedy with weird naked spots, this one corner looks pretty good (there's a lot of bind weed mixed in there).  I love this corner planting of bananas.  I think they are awesome!  I want to plant them everywhere.  Maybe it's because my toddler has been having us watch the Banana episode of Good Eats almost daily.  I guess she finds the repetition relaxing.  Good sense will prevail and I won't create a weird banana plantation in my suburban backyard, but I want to just a little bit.

I made this wreath a few weeks ago, but haven't gotten a chance to plant it up yet.  It's hanging on the fence (and has been for over a month) ready to go.  I had come across the idea on Pintrest a few years ago and bought the frame and moss one Black Friday Sale at Joann Fabrics.  One really hot weekend, I finally busted everything out and made it up.  I'll write a post about the hows later, once it has a few plants in it.  I can't wait to see it filled up with succulents.  Maybe some evening after work I'll get a chance.

While a lot of the garden is weed filled, this area isn't nearly as overrun.  We definitely need to add more plants around out dinosaur friend, but at least he (or she) isn't drowning in a sea of weeds.

Our large hanging basket is looking better than when we planted it in early July.  Typically by September, this poor basket is looking rough.  Like, needs to be ripped out and replanted rough.  Not this year.  Clearly we made a few good plant choices.  There isn't much color there, but it's green and full.

Our shade garden took a big hit during the heat wave.  We have a few crunchy perennials in this bed currently...not really the look we were going for.  If you don't look too closely and just look at the bed overall, it's doing great.  This used to be bare dirt that washed out onto the patio every time it rained or the irrigation ran.  Now it's a garden.  The magnolia has a well established root system, so everything that gets planted is small and tucked into the ground between the roots.  They still have a long way to go, but they are definitely filling in.

I will admit, we've had a few casualties on the patio this year.  The saddest being a maidenhair fern that didn't get enough water last week.  Fingers crossed it will push out some new growth, but it's probably best not to hold your breath.  Fortunately, many others look great and I know where I can buy a new maidenhair fern if I want one down the road.

One of the chicken planters is doing amazing.  I've even busted out the larger chicken waterer we have sitting in the shed with plants to plant it up too.  I'm not in love with the Mother-of-Thousands in the top, but I'm impressed with how well it does in this spot.  We will not talk about the other planter, but it has not be anything resembling a success.  It is destine for the compost pile and will be reborn as something else.  Maybe a safe place to put the really cool rocks I find.

Hope you've enjoyed this little tour of some of the best stuff going on right now in our garden.  Hope you all have some highlights of your own.


  1. More than good, these are fabulous shots of your garden. The mangave(s?) are wonderful with the beautyberries as they bring out the purple color of some of the mangave. Love the banana/tapioca(?) combination of big, bold leaves and fine lacy leaves. Your pot wreath looks great even without plants and your dinosaur always makes me smile.

  2. You've got a lot of to be proud of in your garden, Rebecca, especially as we near the end of summer when most everything is in a shambles (at least for those of us in hot, dry climates). That banana corner would have me wanting to plant more trees all over too and I love the dinosaur corner. As to the mangave/mangaves question, I've given up trying to figure out the correct plural forms for most genera - adding an "s" to describe a group makes your reference clear to readers even if it may not be grammatically correct in every instance.

    I hope your plant geek recovers quickly and is able to get back into the garden with you soon.

    1. Thanks! It's always one of my favorite vignettes in the garden.

  3. It all looks good, especially for an end of summer garden in Texas. I like your banana corner and it adds a nice tropical flair to the pool. There's an out of control banana plantation yard in an older neighborhood I drive past every week. I think it's less likely to be a problem in your area. Your mangave collection looks great too.

    1. I would agree with you regarding the bananas, but at the other end of the pool we have two that are sending up babies each year 5-6 feet away from the parent plant. If left alone, I can see it getting out of hand in a few years. All of ours die back to the ground each winter and it doesn't seem to dampen their vigor too much.

  4. I can't tell it is weedy. From my view everything looks great. Your Beauty Berries are huge, not like mine but to be fair, I have seen three mocking birds eating them. It is the truth. Really! Birds ate my Beauty Berries or they would look as good as yours. I think I have Beauty Berry envy.
    PS: Take care of the Plant Geek. He is the most important thing in the garden.

    1. I don't know what came over the beauty berries this year, but they are absolutely spectacular and hanging all over the place due to the quantity of berries. The birds don't seem to care too much about ours. Maybe because they are so close to the ground. Thanks for the well wishes, it looks like he's doing a bit better.

  5. Your garden look so tropical! Love that. Thanks for sharing. Groetjes,


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