We've been getting a few questions from readers on how our garden is growing. For those of you new to Old Town Home, we're self-proclaimed "black thumbs" when it comes to our skills in this area, but despite a lack of gardening talent or experience, we haven't given up yet.

Earlier this spring we turned our attention to replanting our cast iron urns as well as completely overhauling the small area surrounding our new city tree. This small dirt patch was largely ignored and desperately in need of attention. After days of backbreaking work to remove the roots of the diseased tree that had been removed, we were ready for planting. Here's how the area looked right after we finished getting the plants into the ground.

Now a full two months later, I'm thrilled to report that all nine new plants plus the tree are thriving. Despite the recycling man's best attempts to thwart our efforts by flinging our bin at them each Monday, we haven't lost one yet!

Here's a wider angle view to show just how well the tree and other plants are starting to do.

And one more for a little closer look at the plants around the tree.

Did you notice in the photos above how much the flowers in the urns have grown, especially the sweet potato vines? It looks like our diligent watering efforts have paid off.

Despite the 100+ degree days we've been having, we're bound and determined to keep our new found curb appeal alive and well.

Alex has some concerns for the left hand sky pencil in the urn, as it seems to be struggling a little bit. We'll have to keep our eye on it, but we're not sure what to do at this point. Any ideas?

As far as the cast iron garden border goes, we're at a total standstill. We contacted two companies for estimates, but despite repeated follow up, haven't received a single estimate back. I guess we're too small of a project? Annoying nonetheless, but if anything, I've learned to love the garden without the border. I'm still hopeful this is a future addition, but we're happy with the current look.

How are your plants doing this year? Any successes or failures that you'd like to share? Any new combinations or plants that you've tried out for the first time? We're eager to hear all about it, and continue to expand our limited knowledge on the subject. 

Comments 8


6/27/2012 at 10:33 AM
Wow, the foxtail, feathery ones in the corner garden have really taken off (as have the sweet potato vines in the planters). Looking good!

I've never seen 'sky pencil' bushes before, so can't help there. With just one having issues, I'm wondering if there's a difference in the microclimate - more or less sun, exhaust fumes, wind whipping around the corner of the building? Try swapping the planters if possible and see what happens?
I know! We're so proud of them. (Is that weird to be proud of your plants?)

That's a really good point about the sky pencils. It's very possible that dirt and exhaust from trucks going in and out of the alley could affect this side more than the other. We'll try swapping them to see what happens...assuming we can move the urns. They're HEAVY!
6/27/2012 at 11:46 AM
Looking good!! I have some irises leftover from some plant moving for the porch if you want them. Won't give you flowers this year but they will next and they are VERY hardy.
Thanks Melissa! That's so nice of you to offer. How hearty are irises? I think I've killed off all the ones in our back yard. :-*(
6/27/2012 at 4:12 PM
Looking good. Our garden is really starting to take off ... tomatoes are starting to come in, peas are producing good, swiss chard has come along (and is withstanding the heat), blue hubbard squash vine is about 10' (and adding noticeable length everyday!), and the porch is full of little fig trees being grown out for planting this fall/winter.

Once things in the yard are a little more established, we will have hazelnuts, blueberries, elderberries, raspberries, blackberries, maypops, and a couple of other native edible berries. Then, I still need to get figs, apples, and maybe papaw trees installed.

Wow, that's fantastic!! I am so totally in awe of your gardening abilities.
7/5/2012 at 9:14 PM
Yay! Looking good! The little flower garden in front of our house is struggling, largely due to the extreme heat and all the dogs who pee on my plants! How do you protect yours? I am thinking of getting one of those obnoxious signs (I found a cute antique one of a dog in the poo position with the words "No!"), but I suspect that won't help! I am ready to give up! We need to build a better border so the mulch stops spilling out through the fence,but I am not sure it is worth the effort given the dog issue. We're considering potted plants instead.... For the record, I never allow my dogs to go in flower beds unless they clearly are not being tended to!!!
Sorry to hear about your struggling plants. It's funny, I was just remarking to Alex this week about how I haven't found evidence of any dogs "using" our area. I'm not sure if it's kind and respectful owners who can see how much time and love we put into this space, and therefore are keeping their dogs away...or that we have a run down rental nearby that has a great patch of grass out front. Either way, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that our luck continues.

A sign might help. If I see a sign, I make sure to keep Lulu far away.
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