Overwhelmed with new garden
Good morning gardeners! I feel bad that my first post is a bit of a cry for help, but I guess we all have to start somewhere.
My husband and I rebuilt an older house in a charming neighborhood last year. The yard was a total mess from years of neglect and the construction process. When finished construction last year, it was a bad time to lay sod, so I threw out some annual rye and waited for better weather. I had originally planned very large, deep beds all the way across the front yard and we installed them last fall, but I've been slow planting them. This spring when it was time to lay sod, I was able to convince my husband to let me plant my dream cottage garden instead.
Now, I'm overwhelmed. I spent so much time working on my pathways and fence, that now it's blazing hot here (it was 97 on Saturday) and I feel like it's getting too late to plant anything that I hope will survive the summer. My garden looks terrible!
I know it's going to take time. When my neighbors walk by and comment, I usually tell them, "Just wait a couple of years, it's going to be beautiful!" I can see it in my head, but the reality is I'm dealing with hard black clay full of rocks and soaring temperatures.
My biggest problem is that I want to consider what will be in bloom at what time of year and how tall things will get so that nothing is hidden or shaded. I want to work in some evergreens so it's not completely bare in the winter (I've got some wax myrtles, rosemary, lavender in there already), but I'm stumped. My house faces east and one side of the yard is shaded by a large pecan tree and the other is full sun. Here's that I have planted so far:
In the shade/part shade:
dwarf Wax Myrtles
coral bark Japanese Maple
Salvia Greggii (I need to move this, it's in part-shade)
Shasta daises (in part shade and not doing well)
Columbine (in the shade and already died)
Knock Out roses
two old roses (a Tea and a Bourbon)
Stella de Oro daylilies (which are turning yellow since planting)
a low-growing Japanese Yew
Hot Lips Salvia
Echinacea (started from seed - growing extremely slowly)
Rudbeckia (started from seed - growing extremely slowly)
This post is getting too long, but I guess I'm just looking for some advice. I keep working the soil as I go, removing rocks, hauling some of the clay to the backyard and amending with a variety of composts, but it's taking so long that I just end up planting things wherever the soil is ready and I feel like it's becoming really random and haphazard.
So there it is. I'm Melanie from Fort Worth and I am overwhelmed with my new zone 7b cottage garden.
I've got vegetables and herbs growing in pots. The wood raised bed is sweet potatoes.
I don't know that to do under that window. I don't want a hedge or shrubs, but I don't want it to be bare in the winter.
We still need to finish the fence; it will go all the way around to the house. This is the shady side of the yard.
All of the rocks (limestone) lining my paths and sitting around are rocks I dug up right there in the yard.