Master Gardeners: Summer styles for the backyard patio | Home And Garden

Greg Stevens

Very good Early morning, Sunshine! I can feel the heat of your rays touching my encounter as I sit on the patio sipping my early morning cup of coffee when examining the newspaper. What a beautiful way to start my day.

Just the commencing

I start to daydream of issues that I would like to do close to the patio, which would build a additional comforting and appealing ecosystem. In excess of the many years our again porch patio, which is not quite spacious, has taken on several various appears to be like and nonetheless has area for improvement.

From the initially time that my husband and I sat on the bare cement flooring of our back porch searching at the black lava rock, no upkeep landscaping, we had a eyesight of what could be.

Now main get the job done has been carried out. We have dual degree decks with a cost-free-standing hot tub. However, it is not nevertheless finished.

And that brings me to wherever I am in the process by browsing by my gardening publications, getting notes of appealing tips and pictures of tranquil areas we have visited. When it gets too warm to remain outdoors, I google many resources on the net, to stir my creativity.

Heat’s turned up

The heat will before long drive me indoors, because we are in individuals “Dog Days of Summer months.” In Doug Welsh’s e-book, “Texas Garden Almanac,” he states that quite a few people feel the “dog times of summer” refers to that time of yr when it is so scorching that the South’s hound dogs are discovered lounging every day below the porch or shade tree to retreat from the heat.

Welsh goes on to demonstrate that the phrase truly has an historic astrological origin. The Romans mentioned that the brightest star (Sirius) in the Big Pet dog constellation (Canis Significant) was lined up with the sunlight through the best time of the yr. This conjunction of Sirius and the sunlight was thought to bring about the peak warmth of summer months. That time happened 20 times ahead of and 20 times after the conjunction, July 3 to Aug. 11.

Go tropical

What plants can stand up to the summer months heat in Texas? Tropicals. They love the heat. Go to Robert Lee Riffle’s book, “The Tropical Seem: An Encyclopedia of Remarkable Landscape Crops.” He lists numerous forms of vines, groundcovers and different tropical vegetation with exceptional foliage and/or showy bouquets.

Riffle also lists a number of kinds of palms that can turn your landscape into a tropical paradise. Shut your eyes and listen to the rustling of the breeze through the palms and smell the fragrance of bouquets wafting throughout the way. Ahhh, serenity.

Do your research

Initially you have to have to know how the sun’s every day path impacts your patio spot and gardens distinctive periods of the 12 months. Does the patio face east or west? North or south?

How several deciduous trees are in your garden that impact the sum of sunlight that your vegetation and shrubs will need to have? What form of soil do you have? Choose people plants that prosper in your soil.

Do strategy to include things like some indigenous crops, in particular Texas Superstars, which are hardier and far more probable in a position to face up to drought, freezing and other weather problems. Be certain to team vegetation that have the similar watering and daylight wants.

Make a strategy

Sketch out the format of your new garden spots.

Be certain that you get a great see of your attempts from the spots where by you have or will have new seating. Now you can execute your plan by picking out, arranging and planting plants.

The last touches will be to decorate. Pillows, tables and seating will total your patio producing it the oasis that delivers you peace and calm.

Now off to pursue my next task. I am asking yourself what to do with these extra bricks that have been piled up considering the fact that they were being removed to make place for the deck? I like an HGTV idea, to make a ornamental brick planter container for the front porch. It will be fantastic for yellow annuals like cosmos or zinnias.

What is the future new landscape adventure at your residence?

The Gardeners’ Dirt is penned by members of the Victoria County Grasp Gardener Affiliation, an academic outreach of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension – Victoria County. Mail your thoughts in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901 or [email protected], or comment on this column at

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