Friday, October 28, 2011

Backyard Phase One: Complete!

Whew. We're finally pretty much done with Phase One of the big backyard project! After we created the flower beds, it was time to get some plants in the ground!

We bought the azaleas and crotons at Home Depot a few weeks ago while they were on sale...

Waiting to be planted!

Everything else came from a local store called Houston Garden Center. Their prices ebb and flow with the seasons (full price in the spring, when most people are planting), so in the fall almost everything is 70% off. This was the biggest reason why we decided to do the backyard now rather than wait!

Shopping for our crape myrtle!

so pretty!

70% off!!

Here's what we ended up getting:
3 Leland cypress trees (just $3 each!)
1 Dallas Red Crape Myrtle tree (just $30!)
4 Buford holly shrubs ($5 each)
4 bottlebrush plants ($6 each)
2 variegated privets ($5 each)
2 honeysuckle bushes (at least, that's what we think they are - they were unmarked) ($5 each)
1 yaupon holly tree ($90)
4 crotons [from Home Depot] ($5 each)
6 encore azaleas (four pink and two white) [from Home Depot] ($7 each)

... all for around $250!!

Without further ado, here are the pretty flower beds!

First, the corner bed:

We ended up buying 4 buford holly bushes and 4 bottle brush plants. We alternated on each side (holly, bottle brush, holly, bottle brush). They're not in their blooming season right now, but when they are the holly will get little red berries and the bottle brushes will get gorgeous red flowers that look like, well... bottle brushes! In the spring we'll add some flowers in front of the bushes.

Crape Myrtle!

Buford Holly!

Bottle Brush!

Now for the azalea bed:

The Plan


We deviated from the plan a bit for this bed and added in the Leland cypress trees. They were just $3, and I wanted something a little taller to go in between the windows on the house. I love them!

Two pink azaleas, then a baby Leland cypress, then the white azaleas, then the second cypress tree, then more pink azaleas!

I just love these. Baby trees are so, so cute!

White azaleas

Pink azaleas! These went crazy blooming after we planted them - I think they like being out of their pots!

And now the far bed:

The Plan

Starting from the left side: Honeysuckle, croton, honeysuckle, yaupon holly tree, 3 crotons, baby Leland cypress, 2 variegated privets!

We love this tree! It wasn't marked at the garden center, but we're pretty sure it's a yaupon holly. Haha. 

Maybe one of you plant-smart people can confirm that's what it is? Haha. 

We planted two of these to the left of the tree. Jeff thinks they're honeysuckles, but we're not sure (Houston Garden Center isn't great at marking their plants... haha). They have lovely orange flowers, and I think they'll start climbing up the fence kind of like a vine. We'll see!

See? Pretty orange flowers!

I love the colorful crotons!!

The smallest of the baby Leland cypresses! This guy is my absolute favorite. He kind of reminds me of the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. :)

We planted two varigated privets in front of the phone box. The phone box is a light green color, so we picked a light green plant so it would camouflage a bit... haha.

Variegated Privet

We still need to add some flowers to the front of the far bed as well, but that will wait until the spring. 

Here's another few photos of the backyard:

Pretty azaleas!

SO much better than all that grass before!

crape myrtle blooms

white azalea!

pink azalea!

So, what do you think? We're really happy with it!! Hopefully we can get all these new plants to make it through the winter without dying. We have quite a while before it will get anywhere near freezing here in Texas, but when it does - we'll be out there bundling them up in blankets!!

And just because baby trees are so cute, here's one more photo of my little guy:



  1. Looks great! Y'all put in so much hard work. And ps, your honeysuckle bush is actually a trumpet vine. My parents have them in their backyard; just a forewarning, they SPREAD. For example: my parents planted one below a tree in their now covers the entire tree. So make sure you keep it contained!

  2. Wow!! I can't believe you put so much thought into the yard--that's awesome. My Mom has a huge gardening gene, but I think it got lost on its way down the line, because I don't have it. I appreciate the gardens of others, but it seems like an overwhelming project to me. (a non-issue since I'm in a small Chicago apartment with no yard =)
    Anyway, all that to say--I'm glad you're enjoying the process, and it will be exciting to see what it looks like as the cute little trees grow!!

  3. Wow!!! Y'all did an awesome job! Mad props!!

  4. The ones with the pretty orange flower will grow like a vine. Make sure to prevent it from growing through your fence and into your neighbors yard. I used to have one in my backyard, but it grew into one of my neighbors yards. Needless to say, he thought it was a weed and chopped it up and it died. :(