Our Front Yard: What We Planted

I made this board so that my mom, who lives across the country from me in a very different climate, could see the desert-adapted and tropical plants I just planted in my front yard in Phoenix. I have plants from every continent except Antarctica. These are photos of what our plants will look like when mature.


Our Front Yard: What We Planted

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another photo of a jacaranda tree - people always seem to take close-up photos of the flowers, but the mature tree itself is really beautiful and should also be appreciated

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This panorama (3 photos stitched together) was taken the day they finished putting in the plants. You can barely see the plants in this photo because they're small, but next year everything will look very lush. On the wall are 3 Bougainvilleas. In front of those are three rosemary bushes, six hearts and flowers ice plants, and one Little John's bottlebrush. On each side of the Hong Kong orchid's round tree planter is a Lady Banks rose for which we're installing umbrella trellises.

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  • Dawn Teo
    Dawn Teo

    Between the car and courtyard, 16 lavenders line that area in an L-shape, creating a grand entrance for the courtyard. There are 20 purple ice plants in the Hong Kong orchid's circular planter.

lavender (Lavandula) If our fernleaf doesn't make it through summer, we'll plant French lavender in the fall. We lined the drop-off area by the motorcourt, up to the courtyard entrance, with this plant so that it forms two L-shaped frames around the courtyard entrance. We planted densely so that it will form a hedge. Origin: Southern Europe.

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Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia) We put this in the corner between the split in the driveway (between the circle drive, the garage drive, and the garage) almost in front but just to the right of the western corner of the courtyard. The jacaranda tree turns completely purple (no green foliage during blooming) in the spring. For about one month, these trees are spectacular. Origin: Brazil.

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  • Lanna
    Lanna

    Beautiful

The roses in this photo are on an umbrella trellis, and they have been pruned to look like a tree. We are installing a 7-foot umbrella trellis for our white Lady Banks roses; however, we'll be allowing them to cascade the to the ground. These are on each side of the round planter that holds our Hong Kong Orchid.

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Texas Mountain laurel (Sophora secundiflora) Planted by our mailbox (NOT the one in the photo) a couple of feet to the west of and almost behind the mailbox to give it a little afternoon shade during our hot, hot summers. Both the foliage and the blooms on this tree smell like artificially flavored grape candy (or grape Kool-Aide). This shrubby tree will grow only to about 12 feet tall. It blooms very large, showy blueish lavender flowers that grow in huge drooping clusters. Origin: Mexico.

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Hearts and Flowers ice plant (Aptenia cordifolia) This is a groundcover that we used near the driveway in a spot where we did not want grass and in the drainage area in unused the back corner of the front yard. The foliage is not as "frosty" looking as other ice plants. Rather, the very waxy foliage of this plant is reminiscent of hearts (thus, the name). Origin: Southern Africa.

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Peppermint Lace crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica 'Peppermint Lace') This is a close-up of this color - could not find a full-size photo, so the other photo is of the purple variety. We planted this color crepe myrtle on the southeastern corner of the courtyard to block the view of our neighbor's garage from inside the courtyard (the Hong Kong orchid canopy will not quite spread that far, so this fills a gap). Origin: India and the South Pacific.

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This is the original design plan for the courtyard, driveway, and front yard. We added the Texas Mountain laurel by the mailbox and four bushes in the top right-hand corner to screen the electric boxes by the street. We also added Bougainvillea on the wall in the bottom right-hand corner and a few plants in front of the wall. And we put in a crepe myrtle just to the right of the outside of the courtyard to screen the view of the neighbor's side entry garage.

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Mother of Thyme (Thymus pulegioides) We put a small strip of granite along the edge of our courtyard wall to protect it from the spray of the grass irrigation, and we're covering that granite area with culinary thymes, including Mother of Thyme, which is the traditional thyme spice. Origin: Ancient Mesopotamia.

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  • Auburn McCanta
    Auburn McCanta

    Love the research you're doing and sharing.

  • Dawn Teo
    Dawn Teo

    Thanks Auburn! I can't wait for everything to be in and done this weekend. Then, I'll post photos of my actual yard.

"Incredible Superior" dwarf sunflower (yes, that is the variety name) This variety grows up to 36 inches with flowers that are 10 inches in diameter! We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

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  • Auburn McCanta
    Auburn McCanta

    These are gorgeous!

Peach passion dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annus) This variety grows up to 24 inches. We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

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  • Auburn McCanta
    Auburn McCanta

    You can plant these now? If so, I'm on it. I love sunflowers.

  • Dawn Teo
    Dawn Teo

    Yes, it's the only thing I could find that was easy to plant and would definitely grow at the height of our summer in my new flower bed. So, I'm putting in as many dwarf varieties as I can find :)

Italian White dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annus) This variety grows up to 36 inches. We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

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Double Dandy dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annus) This variety grows up to 24 inches. We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

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Firecracker dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annus) This variety grows up to 36 inches. We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

Firecracker - Johnny's Selected Seeds

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Zebulon dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annus) This variety grows up to 24 inches. We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

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Baby bear dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annus) This variety grows up to 48 inches. We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

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Bashful dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annus) This variety grows up to 36 inches. We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

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Elf dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annus) This variety grows up to 16 inches. We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

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Solar Flash hybrid dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annus) This variety grows up to 24 inches. We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

Solar Flash Hybrid Sunflower Seeds and Plants, Annual Flower Seeds at Burpee.com

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Double Dandy dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annus) This variety grows up to 24 inches. We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

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Little Becka dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annus) This variety grows up to 24 inches. We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

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Teddy Bear dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annus) This variety grows up to 16 inches. We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

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Big smile dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annus) This variety grows up to 24 inches. We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

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Sunny Smile dwarf sunflower (Helianthus annus) This variety grows up to 20 inches. We are planting 10 varieties of dwarf sunflowers as a temporary filler for the flower bed, as we can't plant bulbs until October or November in our hot desert climate.

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