Garden Tour: Frostweed, (Josephine): Lovely front yard conversion

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Garden Tour:  Frostweed, (Josephine)

By Sharon
December 10, 2011

We're going to Texas this week to visit the beautiful gardens of Frostweed. Come join us as we see what this very gracious lady has to share.

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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Dec 10, 2011 3:12 AM CST
It's good to see people converting lawns to something like a native demonstration garden. How did you go about removing the lawn (grass)?
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Jo Ann Gentle
Pittsford NY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Cat Lover Heucheras Hellebores Container Gardener
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ge1836
Dec 10, 2011 4:46 AM CST
Its wonderful to see your gardens and how different they are from North East in the same season.
Lovely job.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Dec 10, 2011 8:01 AM CST
Thank you Ladies, we all know what a labor of love gardening is.

SongofJoy, we converted the lawn by layering newspapers and lots of mulch on top of that, then waited about 6 months and planted by making holes through the paper and mulch. I will give more details later, I am off to help at one of the local parks today.

Ge1836, the plants were in bloom until two days ago when we went down to 28 degrees, some are still green, but many have bit the dust, but they are perennials, so they will be back. Time to clean up and prepare for spring now.

Josephine. Smiling

Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Dec 10, 2011 8:31 AM CST
Josephine, what wonderful gardens you have. What is that absolutely gorgeous tree in your front yard?

I am looking forward to reading about your method of converting lawn to flower beds. Thumbs up
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member Salvias Herbs Bluebonnets Native Plants and Wildflowers Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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LindaTX8
Dec 10, 2011 9:30 AM CST
So great to see pics of your yard again, Josephine! Sharon and Josephine, good idea to do this article! I love my native plants also! We also got hit with enough cold to knock a lot of plants into the winter doldrums. And killed some annuals. Sad
I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority. E. B.White
Integrity can never be taken. It can only be given, and I wasn't going to give it up to these people. Gary Mowad
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Dec 10, 2011 10:32 AM CST
Everything except my Geum 'Cookie' has been knocked back by heavy frosts and temps from low 20's to the 30's in the last 2 weeks.
Cookie still has beautiful orange blooms. What a plant. Lovey dubby
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Dec 10, 2011 10:48 AM CST
For me, it's my Gaillardia 'Moxie'. We've had many hard frosts and numerous nights below freezing and it's still blooming. Lovey dubby
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Dec 10, 2011 11:23 AM CST
Josephine, I really enjoyed the tour! I also love natives & wildflowers, I couldn't chose a favorite either.

I think it's wonderful what you have done! and beautiful!

I also love your tree in front! Lovey dubby
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
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flaflwrgrl
Dec 10, 2011 12:23 PM CST
I'm always excited to see grass gone & flowers abundant in replacing it! And it's SOOOO much easier to care for. And it now cares for others; that being wildlife. Win, win, win situation. Josephine, it looks gorgeous! Thank you for the tour.
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Anna
North Texas (Zone 8a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Region: Texas Clematis Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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canadanna
Dec 10, 2011 2:33 PM CST
Looks terrific! I know how much you love natives and this is an inspiration. What did you use for mulch and what for your paths?
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Dec 10, 2011 3:02 PM CST
Lynn, the gorgeous tree in the front yard is an Arizona Ash ; http://wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=FRVE2
I planted it in 1969, when our yard was completely bare, just soil, when we moved in, so I had to start from scratch.

I wish I had known then what I know now, but the tree was a wonderful choice, the leaves turn a beautiful golden color and it basically covers the entire front yard and gives us light shade which allows plants to grow under it.

We had it trimmed last winter to raise the canopy and allow more light for the flowers, so the structure shows a lot more now. It makes it very pleasant to sit there and enjoy the flower beds.
Josephine. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Dec 10, 2011 3:15 PM CST
Dear Linda, many of the plants I have I got from you, so I can say that you have been a great contributer to my collection of Texas native plants for which I am very grateful.

You have access in your area to many plants that we don't find around here and are generous enough to share with your friends. I have also received plants from many other Dave's members, everyone is so generous and caring, what a wonderful community we have!!! Thank you everyone!!!

I feel that the two of us are on the same mission, to spread the knowledge, appreciation and cultivation of our beautiful native plants.

Josephine. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Dec 10, 2011 4:15 PM CST
O.K. Anna and others who want to know how we got rid of the grass.
We had a mixture of Bermuda and St. Augustine. We measured the yard and drew the bed outlines on paper according to our situation and traffic patterns.

Then we asked out friends and neighbors to save newspapers for us, which they did, and we ended up with more than enough, bless them.
For the mulch we used shredded tree mulch provided by the local landscape companies for free. We got two truckloads which sat on our driveway and that wasn't fun, but oh well, you do what you have to


We marked the beds with black flat plastic edging and put an edging around the curb to hold the mulch, and then started laying newspaper 8 to 10 layers thick, wetting it first and being very careful to overlap every piece to make sure no light gets through. Also making sure the edge by the curb was very well tucked in.

Thumb of 2011-12-10/frostweed/b31982 Starting mulching along the curb.

Thumb of 2011-12-10/frostweed/a8ce56 Farther along the corner.

After all was mulched including the paths we waited and when the time was right we started planting by making a hole through the mulch and paper. We didn't till or pull the grass, just mowed it close before starting.
I guess it took me a few months to get it done little by little. Then we laid the rocks around the edges of the beds.

Thumb of 2011-12-10/frostweed/f1666e The edge bed with the rocks and plants coming in.


Thumb of 2011-12-10/frostweed/bddb95 View of another bed.


Thumb of 2011-12-10/frostweed/10a982 Plants more advanced

We have not had trouble with the grass coming back or peeking through. We started in the fall of 2009 so it has been a journey but a very good and satisfying one.
That is my story and I'm sticking to it, my friends.
Josephine. Smiling


Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Houseplants Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Ideas: Master Level I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle
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Sharon
Dec 10, 2011 4:19 PM CST
What a great little tutorial all in one post, Josephine, thank you!!
I can't even imagine all the hours you spent creating that gorgeous area.
It's beautiful.
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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Dec 10, 2011 4:21 PM CST
Thanks for the info. I have LOTS of Bermuda grass. Glare
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
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frostweed
Dec 10, 2011 4:42 PM CST
You are welcome Sharon and Tee, I did spend many hours, but it was worth it. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
Image
SongofJoy
Dec 10, 2011 4:46 PM CST
Anyone who triumphs over Bermuda grass is my hero. Green Grin!
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Dec 10, 2011 5:09 PM CST
Thank you Josephine. I will be converting more of my lawn come spring time. Thumbs up
Silver Spring, MD (Zone 7a)
Sedums Container Gardener Bulbs Vegetable Grower Hummingbirder Region: Mid-Atlantic
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ssgardener
Dec 10, 2011 5:33 PM CST
Josephine, you're an inspiration! I'm finishing my lawn-killing project in my garden this very weekend, except that I'm using cardboard and not newspaper. No one I know gets their newspaper delivered anymore!

I also have Bermuda grass, as well as very invasive weeds. I think the ones I have are crab grass, wild ginger, wild garlic, spotted spurge, and henbit and/or creeping charlie. A few months ago, I did sheet mulching in one part of my garden as a test and was surprised at all the worms it attracted. I really hope all the grass, weeds, and weed seeds are dead by April!

I'm thinking about growing some crossvine to cover an ugly chain link fence. How long do you think it would be before it got as dense as yours? How fat apart did you have to plant your crossvine?
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
Image
frostweed
Dec 10, 2011 9:00 PM CST
I planted my Crossvine one every 10 feet, and it took about 4 years to cover.
Yes worms love newspaper and cardboard, good luck with your project, I hope it does great!!!
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.

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