This is the first of my tour posts. This is the garden that made us fall in love with the house. All of the beds and the sunken pool was put in by the previous owner. I gutted all of the plants, leaving only the crepe myrtle and couple of bushy purple heathers.
The garden is square, with a dead looking crepe myrtle in the back. You have to prune them hard in the early spring, before the first leaves appear. We'll do this sometime this week. We didn't last year and the plant was very lanky. I'm deathly afraid of chain saws (and weed-wackers and lawnmowers for that matter - you can loose a hand you know) so I've enlisted the help of my monster Dave who takes great pleasure in these things.
On the corners opposite each other are the bananas. They are huge - the plants were only a few feet high when I planted them two years ago. There are also two on either side of the crepe myrtle that never really took off. No plant I've tried near that tree has done well. The bananas look dead as well, but they actually look better this year than they did last year. Usually a frost gets them and the go brown almost to the ground. No frost this year - I still have several annuals that are usually long gone. I'm keeping the dead leaves on the plant on purpose. I've been told that it protects the trees from serious frost damage. As soon as the danger of frost has passed, usually the end of February, I will totally lop them off about half way down, staggering each stalk for intrest. Big, beautiful leaves will appear right out of the middle of the stalk.
If I had to do it all over again, I would have skipped the bananas altogether and planted more of the bird of paradise in the foreground. When I first planted it, that day in fact, I showed it off to a realtive who was adament that it would die in a few months. It just couldn't take the Florida sun and the leaves will burn. I would be better off digging it up and bringing it in the house. Well, it is by far the most beautiful plant in my yard. I think I've only cut off about five dead leaves since I've owned it. Purple Queen grows around it and up in between the leaves, looking like blooms if you squint. It should bloom for real in a year a two and I simply can't wait.
Additional plants in this garden include Canna 'Tropicana', bright orange Begonias, a Ti plant, and a few grasses that I never have identified.