Landscape & Gardening

Neglected and Almost Forgotten

If I hadn’t needed to enter my garage through the greenhouse, I would have missed this one-day beauty.
If I hadn’t needed to enter my garage through the greenhouse, I would have missed this one-day beauty.

The cactus collection in my greenhouse is in dire need of some TLC. But my poor greenhouse is last on my list of green thumb to-dos. Because of the loss of my neighbor’s eighty five year old oak tree, one half of my front shade garden needs to be replaced with perennials that can endure full sun, and the few shade-loving plants that did survive will need to be transplanted to a shadier section. But that’s not all.

There’s my backyard gardens that were also in desperate need of first-aid. Between the dog damage, drip irrigation problems, and several extended winter freezes, a third of my plants meet an untimely end.

I’ve had to provide local nurseries with my list and followup with a call to each of them weekly. Availability was much later than usual because of a long-lasting winter and cooler-than-normal spring. A lot of the perennials on my list were only available at a nursery located way north of where I live. And since my car isn’t large enough, numerous trips were required—each being a three hour excursion.

So far, I’ve managed to install/replace all of the damaged and/or dead plants. But the hardest job is yet to occur, and that is clearing out the English ivy in the parkway and planting, according to my landscape architect Michael Parkey‘s drawn plan, six new sun-loving varieties: 20 Sun Drops, 36 Bugleweeds, 3 Gulf Muly, 72 creeping Liriope, 15 Hard Plumbago, and 6 Giant Leopard plants. This job will be done in phases over the next two weeks.

The greenhouse and its occupants will have to wait.

Landscape & Gardening

A Prickly Assortment


For the greenhouse. It’s a start, but hardly a full house. Not only are these cacti low maintenance, but it just occurred to me that rodents may not care to dine on a prickly diet. That’s been a real problem in the past. Why is it that when a plant such as kale is planted outside, it remains untouched, but when placed inside the greenhouse, all foliage will be consumed in less that 24 hours? Maybe it’s just that they prefer to dine in rather than dine out? Ha ha, I couldn’t resist making that funny. I know. It’s lame. But, hey! Why not?

Landscape & Gardening

Meet the New Greenhouse Whatnot


What to put in my greenhouse has always been a dilemma. I learned quickly that even with shade fabric, air vents, and a swamp cooler, the inside temperature could never be cool enough to allow most plants to survive during Dallas’ summers. This beautiful greenhouse was functional only for sheltering my summer container plants during our three months of winter and useless during the remaining nine. What a waste.

Now that the backyard’s landscaping has been completed, without plants on its shelves, the greenhouse looks like a storage bin. I’ve decided to collect interesting succulents and whatnots that won’t fry during our summer months. Eventually it will become an extension of my garden.

My first greenhouse whatnot. This oddity, which I purchased from Nicholson-Hardie where the manager admitted not knowing much about this organism and what to expect, has no name and is the creation of a local succulent grower. It looks a bit lonely now, so if any of my local friends have suggestions on where to purchase unusual succulents, please let me know.