Landscape & Gardening

What Thrived and What Fried

(above) The chartreuse foliage belongs to the Pineapple Coleus, and it's a bit overwhelming. I couldn't find anything smaller than gallon size pots. Next year if it looks like the garden needs seasonal color, I will purchase some of the Fishnet Stockings variety to tone down the chartreuse effect.
(above) The chartreuse foliage belongs to the Pineapple Coleus, and it’s a bit overwhelming. I couldn’t find anything smaller than gallon size pots. Next year if it looks like the garden needs seasonal color, I will purchase some of the Fishnet Stockings variety to tone down the chartreuse effect.

What survived in one of the hottest summers on record. Take one last look at the current setup of my front shade garden, because this fall or early next spring it will be expanded. Due to climate change and the growing tree canopies, what worked ten years ago has either died back or outgrown its location. I will be extending the beds, replacing most of the grass lawn, transplanting a few perennials, and adding perennials that will survive Dallas’ more frequent climate extremes. Once complete, I hope not to depend on seasonal annuals to fill in the voids as much as I have these past ten years.

If you’re wondering how often I run the sprinkler system, the answer would be twice a week. Instead, I hand water every evening, which is a real pain and has not been fun, but this is — hands down — the most efficient way to water annuals. Next year, once the re-design has been completed, a soaker hose system will be implemented, because I want my life back.

(above) Container plants around the front entrance to my house are mostly annuals.
(above) Container plants around the front entrance to my house are mostly annuals.
(above) This is a detail view of the front bed which this fall will be extended into the foreground. Meaning, the face pot will need to move forward to the new front edge.
(above) This is a detail view of the front bed which this fall will be extended into the foreground. Meaning, the face pot will need to move forward to the new front edge.
(above) This section of the west bed extends from the house down to the sidewalk. If you look closely, you'll notice the points of the Stromanthe Tricolor, the stripy red, white, and green plant in the foreground, are charred from the triple digit sun beams.
(above) This section of the west bed extends from the house down to the sidewalk. If you look closely, you’ll notice the points of the Stromanthe Tricolor, the stripy red, white, and green plant in the foreground, are charred from the triple digit sun beams.
(above) Here's another detail view of the west bed.
(above) Here’s another detail view of the west bed.

(above) In the middle you'll see the fried creeping ginger, which will recover next spring. I may transplant it where there is never any direct sun.
(above) In the middle you’ll see the fried creeping ginger, which will recover next spring. I may transplant it where there is never any direct sun.

(above) You're only seeing half of it. The Japanese anemone is pretty well torched from all angles. Compare it with last year. The question is will I get any blooms this fall?
(above) You’re only seeing half of it. The Japanese anemone is pretty well torched from all angles. Compare it with last year. The question is will I get any blooms this fall?

(above) What a flop. The Louisiana iris cannot stand up to the heat and only looks good three months out of the year. Something else with spiky foliage will need to replace it in the re-design. Three months in the vertical format is just not good enough.
(above) What a flop. The Louisiana iris cannot stand up to the heat and only looks good three months out of the year. Something else with spiky foliage will need to replace it in the re-design. Three months in the vertical format is just not good enough.
(above) Fried crispy. Needless to say, I won't be planting a Dragon Wing Begonia in this location ever again.
(above) Fried crispy. Needless to say, I won’t be planting a Dragon Wing Begonia in this location ever again.

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