In the Texas Panhandle putting in flower beds is problematic at best, you can count on half the plants you pray over to survive. It is just the way it is in this region. In fact, after several failures Royce and I nearly gave up any hope of creating a lovely landscape here. But we are of the prescient sort he and I, or we are just plain glutton for punishment because when it comes to having a nice yard we won’t and can’t give up so easily. I began to think outside the box of what I was use to doing as a gardener. In other words I began to accept the arid and dusty landscape, to embrace it, to allow it to be what it is and stop fighting it. This meant a change in plant materials that will work here and trust me, those plants I am in love with and that will grow like weeds in North Carolina and Ohio aren’t the ones that like it here! I have to fall in love with grasses and other drought loving plants that will take this dry, windy, never-wet!, hot-sunny-land.
When I began to consider using less plant material and more ‘hard-scape’ material to create our beds my spirits lifted. The first thought that came to me was to do a hard-scape landscape quilt. I chose to do my first one in the shape of a tree — (although my mother-in-law Ms. Ruth thinks it looks more like an arrow) — Either one, tree or arrow, works for me as long as the few low growing plants I used live to see fall! I first began by raking out the area and was surprised to find that the grass came up easily. So much said for grass having deep roots in this yard, I guess. Poor Royce is working diligently on making a lush green lawn a reality. I vote for easing his frustration and using pea gravel and lots of it! But, I know the suggestion will fall on deaf ears so . . . . he plants and I pray.