Often times when I get a day off, I will plan a small project to improve my gardens at my home. This can range from planting a new fruit tree in my edible forest, adding some color to a couple of annual spots I have in high visiblity areas, or like this week, replanting my front landscape.
My plants, like many of your plants, got hit pretty dern hard by the “one two, flood freeze” punch that our fall and winter presented us. Most of my larger shrubs like Clementine Orange and Cherry of the Rio Grande were fine, but Hamelia, Limequat, and Jaboticaba all took a severe hit. The Hamelia, butterfly bush, is coming back and will return to its former glory. The others…dead.
So, I’m revising and replanting. Instead of a group of medium sized shrubs, I am going with a few large “swaths” of smaller shrubs/ground covers. I removed my dead plants, had a sort ceremony. I also moved a couple of pineapple guava bushes from the front to a shady corner where they will fill some space. I will let them grow to eight feet or so. I got a few new plants as well; I really wanted to refocus on larger groups of smaller shrubs for that wonderful mass flower effect. I bought nine Hot Lips Salvia, five popcorn lantana, and seven old fashion red pentas. Each will live in its own group along with the seeded wildflowers that popup every spring. I think these newbies are going to look great with the Nearly Wild Roses and Texas Turk’s Cap that I already have growing. I’ll post some pictures as it matures.
I would feel amiss if I didn’t tell you how pleased I am with my soil’s health in the front bed after Hurricane Harvey. The soil smelled good, with lots of earthworms and just a rich vibrant color and feel. I will look at it under a microscope when I get a chance. Even though the soil is healthy and thriving, I never miss and opportunity for improvement. As I planted, I added a little Nature’s Way compost and Microlife 6-2-4 to every hole. I spread my remaining compost and another couple of cups of Microlife around the bed; I didn’t want any jealous plants.
The space looks great and I’m confident my new plants are just going to be so happy they moved in with me. Just remember, healthy soil, healthy roots, healthy plants.