Garden Transformation

I mentioned somewhere in my profile that I am one of those people who are all or nothing when it comes to hobbies. When I decide to do something, I go all in. This garden I started with such vigor and passion. Friends and family wanted to see my garden so in this post, I wanted to share the before and after pictures of my garden since I started gardening in 2018.

The before picture
The after picture

Those purple foxgloves were so abundant and beautiful, they only bloom the second year. Hopefully they will give a nice show again next year! Swiss chard was growing nicely in the black raised bed in the background. However, this spring it grew to almost 9 ft tall, as you can see in the back and it started seeding. I had to cut it down because it was too big for the raised bed.

The before picture of the right side of the yard. Plumeria my Aunt Kaye gave us on the left. Background orange flower bush is Tacoma Stans. Pinkish Brugmansia is the right front bush.

Here it is today! VERDANT! Hence, the name of my site “Verdant Garden”. I added a garden gate here with purple clematis growing on one side and scented jasmine vine on the other with Beaujolais Sweet Peas. As you can see, it’s a crowded, happy mess!

Before picture of the left side of the yard last spring. The green bush I had no idea what it was called, a friend gave to me for housewarming when we moved in, in 2001. We have always called it the “Stefani Tree”. The gardener always trimmed it down just like the picture so it never flowered. I was never able to identify it until just recently I discovered it is called a Duranta Erecta!

Here is the left side today, the addition of the trellis made it look like a secret garden entrance. The light blue flowers in the background over 8 ft tall are the Duranta Erecta. The garden path meanders through so you can see the following pictures.

Tomatoes growing in tall cages on the right. Cranberry Hibiscus in the center. Brussels sprouts and broccoli that went to seed right next to them. Pink Pentas bush in the front. There are chicken wires all over the garden to keep the dogs, raccoons, and possums out.

Purple tomato vines in the front. Queen Anne’s Lace are the tall wispy stems in the center. They are so pretty. I will post their pictures on another post. This area is a little sparse right now but hopefully next year the hibiscus and orange Alstroemeria will fill up the area. On the right are the leaves of my avocado tree from seed four years ago. I heard that will take over a million years to produce fruit, if at all without a second tree.

Chayote is growing on the vine on the right, so far, no flowers or fruiting! I grew that from the fruit I bought at the grocery store. The brownish leaves on the left are what remained after my beautiful foxgloves stopped flowering. Dead sunflowers I left standing there to feed the birds and also hoping seeds will spread for next year. Finches and other birds seem to love eating sunflower leaves. Sometimes I look outside and there would be over 30 birds in my yard.

Same area as above mentioned picture. I left a lot of dead sunflowers standing there for re-seeding.

Red Baron Peach is the little tree on the right. It was only 2 ft tall when I planted 3 months ago, it is now almost 4.5 ft tall. In the raised bed are eggplants, carrots, borage, Sweet Allysum, lemon basil, kale, strawberries, pepper, and lemongrass.

Rutabagas are the big leafy greens in the front. Roses and Dusty Miller (white plant) growing here. Nothing is looking so great because it is viciously hot right now. Someday in the spring, I will have better pictures of this area. There are two beautiful lily trees growing in this mess. The round raised bed on the right has lots of beets, some Asian herbs, and nasturtiums.

This bed has lots of good things to eat such as kale, thyme, Thai basil, parsley, and carrots.

The spiky plants in the back are remnants of my gladioli. The leaves are left there because I heard the leaves need to soak up nutrients for next year’s growth. So they will stay there until they turn brown. My rosemary bush is in the front and grew a bit unwieldy. The white plant is some beautiful unknown plant that is super drought tolerant. Some day I will find out its name.

This beautiful plumbago bush is so easy to grow. I love this plant and have always wanted it in my garden. It is very fast growing . Flowers are abundant this late spring and summer.

This small tree is the Buddha’s Hand Citron tree. My husband liked it and bought it over 10 years ago. I never took care of it all those years until last year. I watered it and fertilized it. It flowered and eventually turned to a Buddha’s hand like these here. The flower scent is intoxicating. The green hand will turn yellow like a citrus fruit. I was told Vietnamese people like to display this as it brings luck and fortune to the home. It is a very nicely fragrant fruit.

The red tree in the back is my Cranberry Hibiscus plant that turned into an 8 ft tall tree. I was not expecting that. It was supposed to be a bush. I love the red leaves and stems. The other tree next to that is my pink Brugmansia which I grew from a 2 ft cutting last year. It is now about 9 ft tall. I love Brugmansias so much.

The main garden view

So there it is…my garden. My boys like to call it a jungle but my husband says it is an English garden of sort. This garden started out as a lawn of crab grass that we dug up almost two years ago. I was an experimental gardener trying out different flowers and vegetables in various areas all over the yard to see what works for me and the plants. I also grew things from seeds and later forgot to mark what the plants were. Then, of course, when they all grew it became an overcrowding issue, which you may be able to see in some of the pictures.

All in all, I will leave you with this: the jungle and blooms you see here are a unique reflection of God’s beauty and blessings. Blessings for all of us to enjoy.

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