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lisa bogan | profile | all galleries >> Bogan's Yard(s) and/or Gardens tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Bogan's Yard(s) and/or Gardens

To see what our yards AND house currently look like, back out one level, click on "Bogan's House" then select my sub-gallery titled "CURRENT PHOTOS - SUMMER 2014". It has both yards and interior shots.
The photos in this gallery are all of just our yard(s), various gardens, flowers and/or tree photos. This gallery is more for my recollection of how we've changed it through our 12 years living in it.
One of my favorite pictures of our house during our early years living there.
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One of my favorite pictures of our house during our early years living there.

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House Update Pics July 2012 014.JPG
This is the most up-to-date photo from this view.
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This is the most up-to-date photo from this view.

The newly-framed door to the right of the tree leads into the breezeway.  The frame has since been painted.
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The newly-framed door to the right of the tree leads into the breezeway. The frame has since been painted.

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House Update Pics July 2012 013.JPG
The view of most of the front yard in June 2012, standing on the South property line and looking across the front towards the Northeast corner.  (The corner of the front porch is on the left side in this picture.)  Our property line meets up against that corn field on the North side.
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The view of most of the front yard in June 2012, standing on the South property line and looking across the front towards the Northeast corner. (The corner of the front porch is on the left side in this picture.) Our property line meets up against that corn field on the North side.

This is what we started with, taken a few months after we bought it.  I have slowly removed everything but the large trees throughout the whole front yard, and oh, what a difference it made!
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This is what we started with, taken a few months after we bought it. I have slowly removed everything but the large trees throughout the whole front yard, and oh, what a difference it made!

This is an OLD view of our property as you're heading North out of Taylor but it shows the depth of our property which goes from the littlest tree on the left in this photo out to the highway.  The easiest way to find our house is to watch for the off-white water tower as you head North out of Taylor -- we're almost across the highway from it.  This photo was taken at the end of Winter and our trees hadn't regained their follage yet.  We've since taken out the large (dark green) line of shrubs that lined the front yard portions of our property, giving our front yard a big, wide-open feel.
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This is an OLD view of our property as you're heading North out of Taylor but it shows the depth of our property which goes from the littlest tree on the left in this photo out to the highway. The easiest way to find our house is to watch for the off-white water tower as you head North out of Taylor -- we're almost across the highway from it. This photo was taken at the end of Winter and our trees hadn't regained their follage yet. We've since taken out the large (dark green) line of shrubs that lined the front yard portions of our property, giving our front yard a big, wide-open feel.

Photo of our full property headed South towards Taylor from Circleville.  The crop in the fields surrounding our house was corn which was about a foot tall.
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Photo of our full property headed South towards Taylor from Circleville. The crop in the fields surrounding our house was corn which was about a foot tall.

A photo taken while standing close to the highway's shoulder.  I'm (slowly) clearing out all the shrubs inside the U-shaped drive to give a more open appearance of the front yard. In winter 2007 we took out all of the thick shrubs at the left end of the house and replaced them with a 2-car carport.  We also added a (partially covered) wooden deck that connects new carport to the back of the house to a door leading inside the house.
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A photo taken while standing close to the highway's shoulder. I'm (slowly) clearing out all the shrubs inside the U-shaped drive to give a more "open" appearance of the front yard. In winter 2007 we took out all of the thick shrubs at the left end of the house and replaced them with a 2-car carport. We also added a (partially covered) wooden deck that connects new carport to the back of the house to a door leading inside the house.

The house and front yard in March, 2007, with Spring just around the corner and the first few flowers just starting to show their faces.
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The house and front yard in March, 2007, with Spring just around the corner and the first few flowers just starting to show their faces.

Front yard in June 2004.
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Front yard in June 2004.

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A view from the side looking across the whole front yard.  I wanted to show the climbing tree from a distance; most of my photos are up closer to it.
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A view from the side looking across the whole front yard. I wanted to show the "climbing tree" from a distance; most of my photos are up closer to it.

A photo to show how tall my purple Iris is.  This also shows the ground cover that came with the house when we moved it, which I'm STILL trying to remove all of.  It produces pretty purple flowers in Spring.
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A photo to show how tall my purple Iris is. This also shows the ground cover that came with the house when we moved it, which I'm STILL trying to remove all of. It produces pretty purple flowers in Spring.

A photo of the front garden when it was in transition.  I'd removed all the ground cover that came with the house, shifted Iris back to mid-length, added deep maroon plants, transplanted lots of baby shooters of Purple Heart/Wandering Jew (ground cover) up closer to the sidewalk and planted Monkey Grass shooters up near the sidewalk.  All of this was been done just a few months before this photo was taken (and we've been having a lot of 100-degree weather) so it currently looks bare but should lookbetter the longer it grows.
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A photo of the front garden when it was in "transition". I'd removed all the ground cover that came with the house, shifted Iris back to mid-length, added deep maroon plants, transplanted lots of baby shooters of Purple Heart/Wandering Jew (ground cover) up closer to the sidewalk and planted Monkey Grass shooters up near the sidewalk. All of this was been done just a few months before this photo was taken (and we've been having a lot of 100-degree weather) so it currently looks "bare" but should lookbetter the longer it grows.

The same garden as the previous photo, only 18 months later and during mid-Spring.
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The same garden as the previous photo, only 18 months later and during mid-Spring.

A photo showing our breezeway garden path that I made using flat concrete & stones along with bricks all found on our property.  It was well worth the labor to create it as I love the effect it added to our country home.
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A photo showing our breezeway garden path that I made using flat concrete & stones along with bricks all found on our property. It was well worth the labor to create it as I love the effect it added to our "country" home.

A photo showing the same breezeway garden in reverse.  I know it looks homemade but I really like the ambience it puts on that garden.
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A photo showing the same breezeway garden in reverse. I know it looks "homemade" but I really like the ambience it puts on that garden.

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The boys were out playing catch while waiting for the school bus and by their action I can tell they saw it headed their way.  You can see the boys' backpacks sitting at the edge of the drive where it meets the highway which is where the bus picks them up.  If you enlarge the photo, you'll see a blurry thing close up just to the right of the sidewalk.  It's a barn swallow, swooping thru the columns of the front porch.  They have a nest of babies and get very excited anytime someone is out on the porch.  The crop growing in the fields across the highway (and surrounding our land) is corn grown for livestock feed.
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The boys were out playing catch while waiting for the school bus and by their action I can tell they saw it headed their way. You can see the boys' backpacks sitting at the edge of the drive where it meets the highway which is where the bus picks them up. If you enlarge the photo, you'll see a "blurry" thing close up just to the right of the sidewalk. It's a barn swallow, swooping thru the columns of the front porch. They have a nest of babies and get very "excited" anytime someone is out on the porch. The crop growing in the fields across the highway (and surrounding our land) is corn grown for livestock feed.

A more updated photo looking out front off the front porch.  I'm not quite through getting rid of the shrubs (they grow like WEEDS!) but one day I'll have them all gone, leaving only the trees.
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A more updated photo looking out front off the front porch. I'm not quite through getting rid of the shrubs (they grow like WEEDS!) but one day I'll have them all gone, leaving only the trees.

A photo showing the climbing tree garden I built (with Dave's help).  This was the prettiest tree on our entire property and after a year of living here I finally created this garden.  This photo was taken the day after we made the garden so all the new flowers/plants are hard to see but I'm hoping they will eventually become a completely flower-filled garden.  The bricks were around our property left over from projects by previous owners.  I'm not patient enough to take the time to level the ground or use cement to join the bricks - I just stack 'em, fill it and plant!
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A photo showing the "climbing tree" garden I built (with Dave's help). This was the prettiest tree on our entire property and after a year of living here I finally created this garden. This photo was taken the day after we made the garden so all the new flowers/plants are hard to see but I'm hoping they will eventually become a completely flower-filled garden. The bricks were around our property left over from projects by previous owners. I'm not patient enough to take the time to level the ground or use cement to join the bricks - I just stack 'em, fill it and plant!

The same garden, 18 months later.
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The same garden, 18 months later.

Here's a photo of our climbing tree garden, 3 months after creating it and after adding more flowers to it here and there.  It also shows our newly re-painted swing and the bricks I laid underneath so we can still swing during wet yard times, and not get muddy shoes or ruin what little grass tries to grow beneath, or having to hassle mowing under it.
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Here's a photo of our climbing tree garden, 3 months after creating it and after adding more flowers to it here and there. It also shows our newly re-painted swing and the bricks I laid underneath so we can still swing during wet yard times, and not get muddy shoes or ruin what little grass tries to grow beneath, or having to hassle mowing under it.

A peaceful Saturday morning - perfect for enjoying a beautiful mild Summer day with a warm cup of coffee in the swing.
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A peaceful Saturday morning - perfect for enjoying a beautiful mild Summer day with a warm cup of coffee in the swing.

Photo of the climbing tree and front gardens mid-Summer.  I really like this photo of my favorite part of our front yard.
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Photo of the climbing tree and front gardens mid-Summer. I really like this photo of my favorite part of our front yard.

17 months later to show what it looked like.  I had added more baby shooters of various plants, too.
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17 months later to show what it looked like. I had added more baby shooters of various plants, too.

Close-up showing some of the colorful array of flowers currently in the garden. (The dark purple plants are Purple Heart (some people know it by Wandering Jew).
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Close-up showing some of the colorful array of flowers currently in the garden. (The dark purple plants are Purple Heart (some people know it by Wandering Jew).

The dark purple (Purple Heart) is finally starting to thicken up and be more noticeable.  I happened to come home mid-afternoon and saw the sun coming thru it and it looked so pretty!
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The dark purple (Purple Heart) is finally starting to thicken up and be more noticeable. I happened to come home mid-afternoon and saw the sun coming thru it and it looked so pretty!

A close-up of the two matching gardens the day after making them.  Dave primarily made these gardens (except for the planting and bricklaying).  He removed two (old & ugly) matching shrubs, filled in with new garden soil, and laid the 5 concrete flat bricks (that had been the stepping brick pathway in the breezeway garden when we moved in) to give people something to step out on from their vehicle when parking in front.  (Notice the mailbox's painted condition BEFORE Jennifer and I repainted it to show off our patriotism/religious belief.)
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A close-up of the two matching gardens the day after making them. Dave primarily made these gardens (except for the planting and bricklaying). He removed two (old & ugly) matching shrubs, filled in with new garden soil, and laid the 5 concrete flat bricks (that had been the stepping brick pathway in the breezeway garden when we moved in) to give people something to step out on from their vehicle when parking in front. (Notice the mailbox's painted condition BEFORE Jennifer and I repainted it to show off our patriotism/religious belief.)

That same mailbox's current look.  I transplanted some wild Morning Glories from out of my vegetable garden to the base of the mailbox.  I'm hoping they will soon cover the upright portion.  Also, my yellow Margarite (daisy) bushes are starting to make a comeback after their initial transplanting shock.
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That same mailbox's current look. I transplanted some wild Morning Glories from out of my vegetable garden to the base of the mailbox. I'm hoping they will soon cover the upright portion. Also, my yellow Margarite (daisy) bushes are starting to make a comeback after their initial transplanting shock.

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We've recently put our house up to sell and since then, completely relandscaped the front yard.  We had all the large shrub-like trees bordering the driveway entrances removed, and completely emptied out the front gardens and started over with a clean slate.  These are pictures showing the front area a week later.
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We've recently put our house up to sell and since then, completely relandscaped the front yard. We had all the large shrub-like trees bordering the driveway entrances removed, and completely emptied out the front gardens and started over with a clean slate. These are pictures showing the front area a week later.

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Our landscaper suggested bringing the front edge of the left garden out further on the right end and bringing it out further to the left and curving it around on the right end.
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Our landscaper suggested bringing the front edge of the left garden out further on the right end and bringing it out further to the left and curving it around on the right end.

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New Front Landscaping 016.JPG
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We replaced our front door with this one a year or so ago, but just recently removed the outer glass door (that had a divider as though it was 2 squares), which decreased the visibility of the nice wooden door.
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We replaced our front door with this one a year or so ago, but just recently removed the outer glass door (that had a divider as though it was 2 squares), which decreased the visibility of the nice wooden door.

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New Front Landscaping 009.JPG
Our landscaper suggested removing my old stone path that led from the front porch to the carport and till the soil.  However, walking across that loose soil area each day to water my veggie garden on the back side of the carport had me quickly making a temporary stone path that we will soon replace with larger stones spaced further apart.
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Our landscaper suggested removing my old stone path that led from the front porch to the carport and till the soil. However, walking across that loose soil area each day to water my veggie garden on the back side of the carport had me quickly making a temporary stone path that we will soon replace with larger stones spaced further apart.

There are soaker hoses undeneath the mulch that goes by every plant.  We had just turned off the soakers shortly before I took these photos.  This left end was previously grass.  We had rain one day recently and it appears that the grass seeds that got tilled up started to sprout.  We'll let them grow taller before spraying weed killer on them.
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There are soaker hoses undeneath the mulch that goes by every plant. We had just turned off the soakers shortly before I took these photos. This left end was previously grass. We had rain one day recently and it appears that the grass seeds that got tilled up started to sprout. We'll let them grow taller before spraying weed killer on them.

From our recent rains we also have Purple Heart (but in the green variety) re-sprouting along our sidewalk. It too will need to be killed or weeded out.
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From our recent rains we also have Purple Heart (but in the green variety) re-sprouting along our sidewalk. It too will need to be killed or weeded out.

This is a view of the back of our house during escrow (in Winter 2001).  The house looks a lot larger from the back than from it's front.  The thick shrubs on the right side we've taken all out, and just last weekend I took a chain saw and cut down the row of fan palms that border the concrete slab patio (by the big tree to the left in this photo).  The lady in the picture was our realtor.
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This is a view of the back of our house during escrow (in Winter 2001). The house looks a lot larger from the back than from it's front. The thick shrubs on the right side we've taken all out, and just last weekend I took a chain saw and cut down the row of fan palms that border the concrete slab patio (by the big tree to the left in this photo). The lady in the picture was our realtor.

A shot showing the back of our house with changes made to the landscaping over 6 years plus the new carport & deck we added to the right end of the house where Dave and I now park.  Our master bedroom is the large chunk of house sticking out furthest in the back yard, right next to the carport.
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A shot showing the back of our house with changes made to the landscaping over 6 years plus the new carport & deck we added to the right end of the house where Dave and I now park. Our master bedroom is the large "chunk" of house sticking out furthest in the back yard, right next to the carport.

A shot showing the area under the covered patio the way it originally was, before we covered it with a wooden deck.
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A shot showing the area under the covered patio the way it originally was, before we covered it with a wooden deck.

YEAH!  We now have COVERED parking, which will minimalize our concerns during the many hail storms that frequent this part of Texas!  We parked under the big oak on the front ride side of the house for almost 6 years, having to walk in rain puddles and get soaked carrying in payday groceries so this is especially a huge improvement to the quality of life for our family living here.
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YEAH! We now have COVERED parking, which will minimalize our concerns during the many hail storms that frequent this part of Texas! We parked under the big oak on the front ride side of the house for almost 6 years, having to walk in rain puddles and get soaked carrying in payday groceries so this is especially a huge improvement to the quality of life for our family living here.

We will construct a wooden deck from the single white post straight ahead to the house's back wall, removing the two grey fence posts (that no longer have anything attached to them). We also built the new fence line after changing the backyard's original fenceline that had been equal with the front of the house, in order to accommodate the carport's location and keep the dogs away from us as we go to/from the vehicles.
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We will construct a wooden deck from the single white post straight ahead to the house's back wall, removing the two grey fence posts (that no longer have anything attached to them). We also built the new fence line after changing the backyard's original fenceline that had been equal with the front of the house, in order to accommodate the carport's location and keep the dogs away from us as we go to/from the vehicles.

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The old deck off the breezeway was becoming pretty rotted so we've just had it ripped out and replaced it with a new, bigger one that extends all the way out to the concrete pad.
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The old deck off the breezeway was becoming pretty rotted so we've just had it ripped out and replaced it with a new, bigger one that extends all the way out to the concrete pad.

Here's a photo of our backyard taken Summer 2002 while Chris was out playing with Hunter & Riley.  Those large shrubs/small trees in that whole part of the yard behind Chris are now mostly gone and our view is beautiful!  We see beyond the 200-acre cornfield to the North where a slight sloping of the land creates a distant purple hue.  We now only have just a few of the larger trees around in the backyard and everything else is so much more open and spacious-looking as shown in the next few more recent photos.
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Here's a photo of our backyard taken Summer 2002 while Chris was out playing with Hunter & Riley. Those large shrubs/small trees in that whole part of the yard behind Chris are now mostly gone and our view is beautiful! We see beyond the 200-acre cornfield to the North where a slight sloping of the land creates a distant purple hue. We now only have just a few of the larger trees around in the backyard and everything else is so much more open and spacious-looking as shown in the next few more recent photos.

This photo shows that same area from the previous photo in April 2003.  The trees and tall shrubs I'd cut down the day before this photo was taken are still laying around, making it appear as though they are low shrubs.  The taller grassy stuff in the large area around the tree towards the left is actually a very overgrown garden that we later took out, making more useable yard for the boys.  The white pipe sticking up is something we added this past Winter to our septic tank (which is just below it) to make clean-outs easier.  The corn in the field North of our property that's seen in this photo was knee-high.  This photo didn't pick up the dark blue/purple 'hues' seen by human eyes off in the distance.
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This photo shows that same area from the previous photo in April 2003. The trees and tall shrubs I'd cut down the day before this photo was taken are still laying around, making it appear as though they are low shrubs. The taller grassy stuff in the large area around the tree towards the left is actually a very overgrown garden that we later took out, making more useable yard for the boys. The white pipe sticking up is something we added this past Winter to our septic tank (which is just below it) to make clean-outs easier. The corn in the field North of our property that's seen in this photo was knee-high. This photo didn't pick up the dark blue/purple 'hues' seen by human eyes off in the distance.

A few years later than the previous photo but looking out towards the same general direction at a beautiful, softly-foggy early morning.  This photo shows my fruit orchard, which are all the smaller trees.  I add at least one new fruit tree each year to this area of our property.
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A few years later than the previous photo but looking out towards the same general direction at a beautiful, softly-foggy early morning. This photo shows my fruit orchard, which are all the smaller trees. I add at least one new fruit tree each year to this area of our property.

Picture showing our back 1/2 acre during escrow (goats were previous owner's).  This 1/4 of our property is separately fenced.
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Picture showing our "back 1/2 acre" during escrow (goats were previous owner's). This 1/4 of our property is separately fenced.

I was standing at the very back of our property, taking a picture down the length towards the front.  The dark green, gumdrop-shaped tree to the right is at the front of our property.  If you look closely behind the bigger of the 2 metal buildings you can see part of our beige house in the background.
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I was standing at the very back of our property, taking a picture down the length towards the front. The dark green, gumdrop-shaped tree to the right is at the front of our property. If you look closely behind the bigger of the 2 metal buildings you can see part of our beige house in the background.

The same view of the back 1/2-acre, 3 years later.  The HUGE pile of black dirt was moved back here after it was dug up from our back yard during a septic improvement project.
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The same view of the "back 1/2-acre", 3 years later. The HUGE pile of black dirt was moved back here after it was dug up from our back yard during a septic improvement project.

My first veggie garden bed early in 2005.  It had my green and white onions on the left 1/3, garlic in the center 1/3 and a few more potato plants under the hay on the right 1/3 (which never came up at all).
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My first veggie garden bed early in 2005. It had my green and white onions on the left 1/3, garlic in the center 1/3 and a few more potato plants under the hay on the right 1/3 (which never came up at all).

My first BIGGG vegetable garden that Dave and the boys spent a LOT of manual labor in getting the materials home and then building for me.  It's 48' long by 4' across.  However, I did the majority of filling it, using a lasagna method with many layers of all different type materials which I'm hoping will decompose over a year or two and then make extremely rich and nutrient soil.
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My first BIGGG vegetable garden that Dave and the boys spent a LOT of manual labor in getting the materials home and then building for me. It's 48' long by 4' across. However, I did the majority of filling it, using a "lasagna" method with many layers of all different type materials which I'm hoping will decompose over a year or two and then make extremely rich and nutrient soil.

Same garden just after planting in mid-April.  The straw-covered end is where potatoes were planted.
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Same garden just after planting in mid-April. The straw-covered end is where potatoes were planted.

The tomato end of the garden 6 weeks after the previous shot of it (last week of May).  All the bushes are loaded with various sizes of tomatoes, but all are still green (except for a few grape tomatoes that have ripened).
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The tomato end of the garden 6 weeks after the previous shot of it (last week of May). All the bushes are loaded with various sizes of tomatoes, but all are still green (except for a few grape tomatoes that have ripened).

A shot showing my 2007 vegetable garden.  There are 4 stalks of corn that came up where I never planted any corn seed (go figure!)  Three are at this end right in the middle of the tomato plants.
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A shot showing my 2007 vegetable garden. There are 4 stalks of corn that came up where I never planted any corn seed (go figure!) Three are at this end right in the middle of the tomato plants.

Our first green bean harvest. (Our family got this batch and it was SO tasty)!
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Our first green bean harvest. (Our family got this batch and it was SO tasty)!

That same plant but looking at what all was growing on the right side beneath the soil's surface.
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That same plant but looking at what all was growing on the right side beneath the soil's surface.

Other side of the garden in the potato section are brown potatoes.  These are off of one plant but I didn't dig around to see if there were more to it or not as these were a nice surprise.
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Other side of the garden in the potato section are brown potatoes. These are off of one plant but I didn't dig around to see if there were more to it or not as these were a nice surprise.

Our first real harvest of many things all on the same day. Yeah!!!  From our first grape tomatoe harvest on May 17 to Jun 20th I harvested 1,249 grape tomatoes off of only 6 bushes and a whopping 2,350 grape tomatoes by the time the harvest was over!
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Our first "real" harvest of many things all on the same day. Yeah!!! From our first grape tomatoe harvest on May 17 to Jun 20th I harvested 1,249 grape tomatoes off of only 6 bushes and a whopping 2,350 grape tomatoes by the time the harvest was over!

One day's harvest at the height of the 2-week heavy harvest season.  In all, during 2005 I harvested 445 regular tomatoes; 2,350 grape tomatoes; 122 bell peppers; 482 green chili peppers; 427 jalapeņo peppers; 9 batches of green beans; 23 (very tall) green onions; 37 (very small) white onions; 65 carrots (mostly tiny) 30 brown potatoes (most were small), and 37 (new) red potatoes.  However, as impressive as the numbers were, the overall the quality wasn't.  Soon after this picture was taken we experienced very high temps during mandatory water rationing, so most of the numbers listed above were of quite smaller produce than the average size you'd see in a grocery store.  However, I still LOVED the thrill everytime I went out to see what was ready to harvest.
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One day's harvest at the height of the 2-week heavy harvest season. In all, during 2005 I harvested 445 regular tomatoes; 2,350 grape tomatoes; 122 bell peppers; 482 green chili peppers; 427 jalapeņo peppers; 9 batches of green beans; 23 (very tall) green onions; 37 (very small) white onions; 65 carrots (mostly tiny) 30 brown potatoes (most were small), and 37 (new) red potatoes. However, as impressive as the numbers were, the overall the quality wasn't. Soon after this picture was taken we experienced very high temps during mandatory water rationing, so most of the numbers listed above were of quite smaller produce than the average size you'd see in a grocery store. However, I still LOVED the thrill everytime I went out to see what was ready to harvest.

A gift basket ready to deliver to some friends at their work location.  In all, our garden this year provided free veggies to over 40 families during the harvest season, (with our family of course taking it's fair share).
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A "gift" basket ready to deliver to some friends at their work location. In all, our garden this year provided free veggies to over 40 families during the harvest season, (with our family of course taking it's fair share).

A close-up of that big (Anaheim) green chili pepper.  It was about 8-1/2 long and one of only a few that grew to be this size.
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A close-up of that big (Anaheim) green chili pepper. It was about 8-1/2" long and one of only a few that grew to be this size.

A picture of various types of peppers grown in 2006.  Anaheim (top left); Serrano (top right);
Jalepeno (bottom left) and Poblano (bottom right).
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A picture of various types of peppers grown in 2006. Anaheim (top left); Serrano (top right);
Jalepeno (bottom left) and Poblano (bottom right).

Look at the two plants closest to me when I snapped this picture.  Each only has one bell pepper on it but check out the size of the bell pepper in comparison to the size of the plant that's growing it!
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Look at the two plants closest to me when I snapped this picture. Each only has one bell pepper on it but check out the size of the bell pepper in comparison to the size of the plant that's growing it!

Here is one of the bell peppers from the previous photo after I picked it in relation to the size of an ordinary teaspoon.
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Here is one of the bell peppers from the previous photo after I picked it in relation to the size of an ordinary teaspoon.

My 2006 Vegetable garden on planting day.
I planted 15 tomato plants (5 varieties), 26 pepper plants (5 varieties), 1 cilantro plant, 1 hill of cucumbers, 1 hill of watermelon and 6 rows (cross-ways) of sweet corn.  In my old, smaller garden I planted radishes, beets, carrots, yellow onions and green beans.  I can't wait to see how  the harvest turns out. (P.S.  The harvest overall was very disappointing with several of the crops never having any harvestable produce.)
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My 2006 Vegetable garden on planting day.
I planted 15 tomato plants (5 varieties), 26 pepper plants (5 varieties), 1 cilantro plant, 1 "hill" of cucumbers, 1 "hill" of watermelon and 6 rows (cross-ways) of sweet corn. In my old, smaller garden I planted radishes, beets, carrots, yellow onions and green beans. I can't wait to see how the harvest turns out. (P.S. The harvest overall was very disappointing with several of the crops never having any harvestable produce.)

This end has the corn rows, cucumber & watermellon hills
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This end has the corn rows, cucumber & watermellon "hills"

That same end where the tomato seedlings were planted, only 2+ months later.  They're so thick that it's hard to see the baby tomatoes on them but each only has just a few, except for the 2 cherry tomato plants and they have many already.  The bushes are about 3 ft tall and very thick.
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That same end where the tomato seedlings were planted, only 2+ months later. They're so thick that it's hard to see the baby tomatoes on them but each only has just a few, except for the 2 cherry tomato plants and they have many already. The bushes are about 3 ft tall and very thick.

Close-up of the corn.  I planted more rows of corn, using the rest of the seed, about 6 weeks later which are the very short plants just coming up in front.  Overall, the corn was a bust, getting only a few ears that were small in size.  The drought, high temps & water rationing hit when the ears were 1/2-grown and I was only allowed to water them once a week.
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Close-up of the corn. I planted more rows of corn, using the rest of the seed, about 6 weeks later which are the very short plants just coming up in front. Overall, the corn was a bust, getting only a few ears that were small in size. The drought, high temps & water rationing hit when the ears were 1/2-grown and I was only allowed to water them once a week.

One of my Serrano pepper bushes.  They're not too big but they're COVERED in baby peppers, only hard to see until you lift the leaves up!!
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One of my Serrano pepper bushes. They're not too big but they're COVERED in baby peppers, only hard to see until you lift the leaves up!!

Another shot of my tomato bushes with the neighboring feed corn being grown in the fields surrounding our property in the background.
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Another shot of my tomato bushes with the neighboring feed corn being grown in the fields surrounding our property in the background.

My old garden bed with mainly green bean plants showing.  I also had a few radishes and beets come up and a watermelon vine sprang up.  However the beets and watermelons never produced produce.
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My old garden bed with mainly green bean plants showing. I also had a few radishes and beets come up and a watermelon vine sprang up. However the beets and watermelons never produced produce.

My sister, Cassie, while visiting us from the Olympia, WA area for a week.  She and I planted my 2008 garden (& a fruit tree) together one day.  She meticulously dug and sifted thru the dirt (about 1/2-way deep) for the entire amount that you see all just dirt, getting every single piece of (deep) grass roots there were.  She put forth about 500% more effort than I would have ever done.  Thanks Cassie and I hope the corn, green beans and green peas we planted on that end come up even better because of your hard work and effort!
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My sister, Cassie, while visiting us from the Olympia, WA area for a week. She and I planted my 2008 garden (& a fruit tree) together one day. She meticulously dug and sifted thru the dirt (about 1/2-way deep) for the entire amount that you see all just dirt, getting every single piece of (deep) grass roots there were. She put forth about 500% more effort than I would have ever done. Thanks Cassie and I hope the corn, green beans and green peas we planted on that end come up even better because of your hard work and effort!

Looking down the opposite end at both of us.  While she was getting the grass roots out on her end, I was pulling simpler weeds on the other end, then planting this year's tomato and pepper bushes.  Here we are posing by what we hope will be a bountiful harvest this year.
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Looking down the opposite end at both of us. While she was getting the grass roots out on her end, I was pulling simpler weeds on the other end, then planting this year's tomato and pepper bushes. Here we are posing by what we hope will be a bountiful harvest this year.

A photo that shows most of the garden.
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A photo that shows most of the garden.

The tomato end of the garden only 5 weeks later!
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The tomato end of the garden only 5 weeks later!

My biggest tomato (that I've found anyway), hidden deep inside the heart of the thick plant.
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My biggest tomato (that I've found anyway), hidden deep inside the heart of the thick plant.

Pepper plants.  These were from the same 6-pack and yet they've grown at completely different rates.
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Pepper plants. These were from the same 6-pack and yet they've grown at completely different rates.

The end where we planted sweet corn, only there's more Johnson grass (weeds) then there are corn stalks but they look too similar to know which to pull out and toss until they got about this big.  After taking this photo I pulled much of the weed grass out on one side.
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The end where we planted sweet corn, only there's more Johnson grass (weeds) then there are corn stalks but they look too similar to know which to pull out and toss until they got about this big. After taking this photo I pulled much of the weed grass out on one side.

The really thick, lush green plants along the right side were grown from green bean seeds that Cassie planted.  Now look adjacent to them, on the left side and see how well the green PEA seeds came up that I planted - next to nothing!  I think I must have gotten confused and not planted them far enough down, so a week before these photos were taken I planted onions and garlic in that empty-looking stretch.
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The really thick, lush green plants along the right side were grown from green bean seeds that Cassie planted. Now look adjacent to them, on the left side and see how well the green PEA seeds came up that I planted - next to nothing! I think I must have gotten confused and not planted them far enough down, so a week before these photos were taken I planted onions and garlic in that empty-looking stretch.

The day I took these photos was the first day of actually seeing baby green beans on the plants.  This photo and the next show several of them.  They weren't any bigger around than a wooden toothpick and ranged from 1/2 - 1 long.
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The day I took these photos was the first day of actually seeing baby green beans on the plants. This photo and the next show several of them. They weren't any bigger around than a wooden toothpick and ranged from 1/2 - 1" long.

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This is my tomato-bush-jungle, 9 weeks after planting seedlings no more than 8 tall.  The bushes are so thick it's hard to tell where one stops and the next one starts.  They're loaded with tomatoes but so far, all are still green.
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This is my tomato-bush-jungle, 9 weeks after planting seedlings no more than 8" tall. The bushes are so thick it's hard to tell where one stops and the next one starts. They're loaded with tomatoes but so far, all are still green.

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The crop along the (narrow) left side are green peas.  The green beans, planted on the right (1/2) have almost completely overgrown the pea area and now easily fill 3/4 of the width.
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The crop along the (narrow) left side are green peas. The green beans, planted on the right (1/2) have almost completely overgrown the pea area and now easily fill 3/4 of the width.

All of my bell pepper plants have at least one pepper on them.
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All of my bell pepper plants have at least one pepper on them.

My tomato-jungle.  These plants are now between chin - to forehead high on me and I'm 5'6.
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My "tomato-jungle". These plants are now between chin - to forehead high on me and I'm 5'6".

My sole cherry tomato bush, covered with (green) tomatoes but the larger-sized ones are quite bigger than I'm used to seeing in stores.
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My sole cherry tomato bush, covered with (green) tomatoes but the larger-sized ones are quite bigger than I'm used to seeing in stores.

A cluster of regular-sized tomatoes that so thickly bunched together in amidst the branches, which are all squeezed in due to the tomato cage wire.  It's going to be interesting getting the center-most tomatoes harvested out of this cluster once they ripen.
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A cluster of regular-sized tomatoes that so thickly bunched together in amidst the branches, which are all squeezed in due to the tomato cage wire. It's going to be interesting getting the center-most tomatoes harvested out of this cluster once they ripen.

Me standing by it, holding the first tomato harvested of the season (only light orange in color but I wanted to give it to the Mills, where we were headed next after taking these pictures).
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Me standing by it, holding the first tomato harvested of the season (only light orange in color but I wanted to give it to the Mills, where we were headed next after taking these pictures).

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I'm sure you're bored with seeing veggie garden photos so now I'll switch plant types to flowers.  Since Iris are my favorite type flower grown on our property, I'll start with them, showing the many colors that I either have/have had while living at this house. This was first time I'd seen this color of Iris in my yard (and 5 years later I've edited these comments to say I haven't ever seen it bloom again).  I have no idea what this color is called, so if you know, please leave me a Comment below.
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I'm sure you're bored with seeing veggie garden photos so now I'll switch plant types to "flowers". Since Iris are my favorite type flower grown on our property, I'll start with them, showing the many colors that I either have/have had while living at this house. This was first time I'd seen this color of Iris in my yard (and 5 years later I've edited these comments to say I haven't ever seen it bloom again). I have no idea what this color is called, so if you know, please leave me a Comment below.

Standing right above it and looking straight down into it's center.
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Standing right above it and looking straight down into it's center.

A close-up of one of the blooms.
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A close-up of one of the blooms.

The same Iris plants 2 years later and with a new and nicer camera taking the photos.  The blooms of this variety of Iris stand 12-18 taller than all other colors that I have and the blooms themselves are about 1/3 larger than the other colors.
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The same Iris plants 2 years later and with a new and nicer camera taking the photos. The blooms of this variety of Iris stand 12-18" taller than all other colors that I have and the blooms themselves are about 1/3 larger than the other colors.

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One of many Iris bulbs that my friend, Helen (in California) sent me produced this gorgeous flower just a few months after planting the bulbs.  Thank you, Helen!!! :))
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One of many Iris bulbs that my friend, Helen (in California) sent me produced this gorgeous flower just a few months after planting the bulbs. Thank you, Helen!!! :))

Same Iris, 2 days and 2 more blossoms later.  It is so beautiful!  In real life it appears to be made of shiny satin.
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Same Iris, 2 days and 2 more blossoms later. It is so beautiful! In real life it appears to be made of shiny satin.

Same flower, different day.  It stands up to my hip in height.
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Same flower, different day. It stands up to my hip in height.

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A few deep purple Iris blooming along with a short blooming shooter of Wysteria (where we had dug up a huge bush 2 years ago).
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A few deep purple Iris blooming along with a short blooming shooter of Wysteria (where we had dug up a huge bush 2 years ago).

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Close-up of both flower types.
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Close-up of both flower types.

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Yet another new color of purple Iris for our yard.  This is the first time I've ever seen this combination and have no idea where it came from, but really like the two-tone blueish-purple.
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Yet another new color of purple Iris for our yard. This is the first time I've ever seen this combination and have no idea where it came from, but really like the two-tone blueish-purple.

I just happened to notice this beautiful Iris plant with 3 full blooms on it by chance.  It was at the back corner of our house and I'd never even noticed an Iris plant there before.
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I just happened to notice this beautiful Iris plant with 3 full blooms on it by chance. It was at the back corner of our house and I'd never even noticed an Iris plant there before.

This one was in the front flower bed.
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This one was in the front flower bed.

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I have no idea of where this color variety came from as I've never seen it in the past 5 years of living there, nor have I purchased any Iris bulbs, but I really like the unusual colors in it - almost a flesh-color.  A good friend informed me that this one is called Champagne.
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I have no idea of where this color variety came from as I've never seen it in the past 5 years of living there, nor have I purchased any Iris bulbs, but I really like the unusual colors in it - almost a flesh-color. A good friend informed me that this one is called "Champagne".

OK, these weren't from Helen, but came with the house.  The gardens around the house have a lot of Iris plants in most of them.  I found this one hidden out back underneath that line of fan palms by the back patio.
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OK, these weren't from Helen, but came with the house. The gardens around the house have a lot of Iris plants in most of them. I found this one hidden out back underneath that line of fan palms by the back patio.

Each year my yellow Iris bloom before any other color that I have.  This is the most I've ever had blooming at the same time.  They brighten up my front flower beds that are still showing the effects of Winter.
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Each year my yellow Iris bloom before any other color that I have. This is the most I've ever had blooming at the same time. They brighten up my front flower beds that are still showing the effects of Winter.

A close-up of the yellow Iris.  Of all of my Iris, about 70-80% are yellow.
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A close-up of the yellow Iris. Of all of my Iris, about 70-80% are yellow.

A few stray sunflowers trying to upstage the corn field.
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A few stray sunflowers trying to upstage the corn field.

A close-up of a sunflower - aren't they beautiful???
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A close-up of a sunflower - aren't they beautiful???

A close-up of the Cannais Lillies when they were in the back yard. (I've since transplanted them to the front yard but so far they've never grown enough to bloom in the front yard location.)
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A close-up of the Cannais Lillies when they were in the back yard. (I've since transplanted them to the front yard but so far they've never grown enough to bloom in the front yard location.)

The first blooming of another variety of Canna Lillies we planted late last year that we hadn't seen bloom before.
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The first blooming of another variety of Canna Lillies we planted late last year that we hadn't seen bloom before.

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A yellow Iris bloom that opened up on a stalk only 4 tall.  Next to it in bloom is some Paper Whites (or Narcissis).
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A yellow Iris bloom that opened up on a stalk only 4" tall. Next to it in bloom is some Paper Whites (or Narcissis).

Vinca which is a great ground cover vine  which has small, purple flowers that (briefly) bloom in March at our house.  However, the leaves stay green year-round.
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Vinca which is a great ground cover vine which has small, purple flowers that (briefly) bloom in March at our house. However, the leaves stay green year-round.

A close-up of a Vinca flower.
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A close-up of a Vinca flower.

This shows a Wysteria bush just starting to bud, which will open into beautiful cluster-style flowers.
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This shows a Wysteria bush just starting to "bud", which will open into beautiful cluster-style flowers.

A closer view.  Wish I had a way to include the lovely scent that comes with it when you're there in person...
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A closer view. Wish I had a way to include the lovely scent that comes with it when you're there in person...

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A close-up of a flower cluster.
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A close-up of a flower cluster.

A photo of our old Wysteria bush in front of the living room in Spring 2003.  (We gave this bush away to a co-worker in July 2003.)  One negative to ours is that it only blooms about one week each year.  There's another one centered in front of the breezeway garden area.
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A photo of our old Wysteria bush in front of the living room in Spring 2003. (We gave this bush away to a co-worker in July 2003.) One negative to ours is that it only blooms about one week each year. There's another one centered in front of the breezeway garden area.

I don't know what this white flowering shrub is called but this Spring I discovered that we have 2 of them on our property.  It's our third Spring living here and I'd never noticed them before.  The bees LOVE it as it's swarming with them.
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I don't know what this white flowering shrub is called but this Spring I discovered that we have 2 of them on our property. It's our third Spring living here and I'd never noticed them before. The bees LOVE it as it's swarming with them.

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Closer view.
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Closer view.

The same orchard in Spring of 2007.  This year we added a Nectarine, another type of apple and a pear tree (the nursery was going out of business so we took advantage of a price-savings).
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The same orchard in Spring of 2007. This year we added a Nectarine, another type of apple and a pear tree (the nursery was going out of business so we took advantage of a price-savings).

This photo was taken just two weeks after the previous photo, and shows baby peaches and lots of new green leaves.
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This photo was taken just two weeks after the previous photo, and shows baby peaches and lots of new green leaves.

A close-up showing a few of the baby peaches.
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A close-up showing a few of the baby peaches.

Our peach tree 6 years after planting it.  We ended up only getting maybe one basket of peaches off of it this particular year, thanks mostly to too many hail/high-wind rain storms, and those peaches that made it to harvest were small.
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Our peach tree 6 years after planting it. We ended up only getting maybe one basket of peaches off of it this particular year, thanks mostly to too many hail/high-wind rain storms, and those peaches that made it to harvest were small.

Hard to see them all but my fruit trees are as follows, from left-right:  Strawberry Peach, Granny Smith Apple, Methley Plum, Nectarine (planted last year and died over this Winter but is still in the ground at the far end of the row), just-planted Royal Apricot in the center and to the right a Bradford Pear.
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Hard to see them all but my fruit trees are as follows, from left-right: Strawberry Peach, Granny Smith Apple, Methley Plum, Nectarine (planted last year and died over this Winter but is still in the ground at the far end of the row), just-planted Royal Apricot in the center and to the right a Bradford Pear.

A close-up with the new camera of the Strawberry Peach tree in bloom.  What's even better is that this is the first year I've ever gotten to see it while standing at the kitchen sink - all previous years during the blooming time there was too much overgrown shrubs/trees, etc. between the back deck and this portion of our property.  Last Summer Dave, I and the boys put a lot of effort into getting rid of several trees and tons of shrubs that used to block that view.  I LOVE looking out the kitchen and seeing my fruit orchard!
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A close-up with the new camera of the Strawberry Peach tree in bloom. What's even better is that this is the first year I've ever gotten to see it while standing at the kitchen sink - all previous years during the blooming time there was too much overgrown shrubs/trees, etc. between the back deck and this portion of our property. Last Summer Dave, I and the boys put a lot of effort into getting rid of several trees and tons of shrubs that used to block that view. I LOVE looking out the kitchen and seeing my fruit orchard!

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Our plum tree.  This is the first year we've had plums on it and it excited me to no end when I discovered them!  They're hard to find as they blend in perfectly with the leaves.  I found just 2, then later when showing my husband and 2 teenage sons, one son found 3 more.  Yesterday when I went out to take these photos I found yet another, making 6 spotted now.  Maybe as they start to grow larger than the leaves we'll discover even more.
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Our plum tree. This is the first year we've had plums on it and it excited me to no end when I discovered them! They're hard to find as they blend in perfectly with the leaves. I found just 2, then later when showing my husband and 2 teenage sons, one son found 3 more. Yesterday when I went out to take these photos I found yet another, making 6 spotted now. Maybe as they start to grow larger than the leaves we'll discover even more.

This picture shows 2 baby plums.  They look like a green olive or grape.  The branch that's shooting up towards the sky kind of by itself has 2 baby plums hidden in the leaves, adjacent to each other.
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This picture shows 2 baby plums. They look like a green olive or grape. The branch that's shooting up towards the sky kind of by itself has 2 baby plums hidden in the leaves, adjacent to each other.

Here's a better picture, showing 2 branches and each one has 2 babies on it.  I never knew that a baby plum starts out looking like a green olive or grape!
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Here's a better picture, showing 2 branches and each one has 2 babies on it. I never knew that a baby plum starts out looking like a green olive or grape!

Okay, here's a REALLY close-up of a pair of those green olives, (I mean baby plums)!  Unfortunately two nasty hail storms knocked all but 1 plum off the tree.  Although it was very small, Dave and I shared it's tasty fruit.
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Okay, here's a REALLY close-up of a pair of those green olives, (I mean baby plums)! Unfortunately two nasty hail storms knocked all but 1 plum off the tree. Although it was very small, Dave and I shared it's tasty fruit.

This was the first year that our Granny Smith Apple tree bloomed.  Our fingers were crossed that maybe we'd get fruit off of it but no such luck.  At least we enjoyed it's gorgeous blooms!
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This was the first year that our Granny Smith Apple tree bloomed. Our fingers were crossed that maybe we'd get fruit off of it but no such luck. At least we enjoyed it's gorgeous blooms!

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Our apricot tree with ONE apricot on it (first time to bear fruit).  Boy, was it TASTY!!!
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Our apricot tree with ONE apricot on it (first time to bear fruit). Boy, was it TASTY!!!

A look at our fruit orchard nine years after planting the first fruit tree.  It's easy to see which way the wind blows the most across our property by the direction the trees lean to, more and more each year.
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A look at our fruit orchard nine years after planting the first fruit tree. It's easy to see which way the wind blows the most across our property by the direction the trees lean to, more and more each year.

Central Texas has been suffering from a severe drought this year, with most farmers losing their crops due to no rain.  When out handwatering my fruit orchard I saw and wanted to show just how bad the lack of water is.  I later showed my husband this crack but he showed me one about 15 feet away that was even worse!  You can look straight down into them, for several feet straight!!  (My shoe is a size 9)
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Central Texas has been suffering from a severe drought this year, with most farmers losing their crops due to no rain. When out handwatering my fruit orchard I saw and wanted to show just how bad the lack of water is. I later showed my husband this crack but he showed me one about 15 feet away that was even worse! You can look straight "down" into them, for several feet straight!! (My shoe is a size 9)

Current view of most of the length of the back side yard that goes the depth of the property.
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Current view of most of the length of the back side yard that goes the depth of the property.

Standing at the back corner of our property, looking down the length of it towards the highway.  The greenery straight ahead is about equal with the front of the house; with the whole front yard still beyond but out of view in this photo.
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Standing at the back corner of our property, looking down the length of it towards the highway. The greenery straight ahead is about equal with the front of the house; with the whole front yard still beyond but out of view in this photo.

There are actually four trees in this photo.  The smallest (green) tree actually has little red berries, but are hard to see in this photo.
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There are actually four trees in this photo. The smallest (green) tree actually has little red berries, but are hard to see in this photo.

A pretty foggy scene one morning looking across the barren land surrounding our house.
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A pretty foggy scene one morning looking across the barren land surrounding our house.

Looking Southwest across the bare plowed field that surrounds our property towards the new covered rodeo arena with open sides in the brand new Taylor Community Recreation Park.  The low, shiny roof to the right of it is the middle school Alex goes to.  I used the zoom to take this shot.
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Looking Southwest across the bare plowed field that surrounds our property towards the new covered rodeo arena with open sides in the brand new Taylor Community Recreation Park. The low, shiny roof to the right of it is the middle school Alex goes to. I used the zoom to take this shot.

I (heard) a crop duster flying VERY low over our house.  I went out and caught a couple of shots of it while standing about 10 ft from our property's edge (our property is the grass at the bottom).
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I (heard) a crop duster flying VERY low over our house. I went out and caught a couple of shots of it while standing about 10 ft from our property's edge (our property is the grass at the bottom).

After this shot was taken (as the pilot was pulling up very quickly to avoid hitting our house and tall trees) he went elsewhere to dust another field for a while before returning to finish the one adjacent to our property.  I guess the lady with the camera in plain view bothered him.  This was the first time cotton was been planted adjacent to us of the 3 summers living there.  Oh and I was NOT using the zoom when taking this photo, nor to use as evidence, just my desire to capture some of the farming techniques used in our area of the country.
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After this shot was taken (as the pilot was pulling up very quickly to avoid hitting our house and tall trees) he went elsewhere to "dust" another field for a while before returning to finish the one adjacent to our property. I guess the lady with the camera in plain view bothered him. This was the first time cotton was been planted adjacent to us of the 3 summers living there. Oh and I was NOT using the zoom when taking this photo, nor to use as evidence, just my desire to capture some of the "farming techniques" used in our area of the country.

View looking out the back corner of our property looking down the property division line between land owned/planted by two different families.  On the left they didn't kill the weeds or pre-plow furrows first, just planted corn seeds.  On the right they DID kill the weeds and pre-plowed the  furrows before planting the corn seeds.
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View looking out the back corner of our property looking down the property division line between land owned/planted by two different families. On the left they didn't kill the weeds or pre-plow furrows first, just planted corn seeds. On the right they DID kill the weeds and pre-plowed the furrows before planting the corn seeds.

Another view looking out over the better-looking crop.  The large group of trees in the distance near the center of this photograph is the landscaping nursery that we use.
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Another view looking out over the better-looking crop. The large group of trees in the distance near the center of this photograph is the landscaping nursery that we use.

A shot facing West of the crop of milo that was grown behind our property soon before it was harvested.  I found out that milo is most commonly used for chicken and/or hog feed.
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A shot facing West of the crop of milo that was grown behind our property soon before it was harvested. I found out that milo is most commonly used for chicken and/or hog feed.

A tree in our back yard that in 7 years living there, I've NEVER seen so pretty!!!
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A tree in our back yard that in 7 years living there, I've NEVER seen so pretty!!!

Our current back yard.
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Our current back yard.

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House Update Pics July 2012 011.JPG
This was the first year in 6 years that I didn't have a HUGE veggie garden out in the back 1/2-acre, but instead only a small one with 6 varieties of peppers and 6 tomato plants, all up close to the house/carport where I walk by every day.  The drought and temps in the low 100's for over 70 days straight gave me only grape & cherry tomatoes for about 2-3 weeks in late spring, then nothing grew except the plants that struggled to survive even though they got hand-watered every 1-2 days for those months of high heat.  In Oct they started greening up and producing again (finally!!!), but as of the last day of November, I've only harvested one tomato off of them and no peppers are growing (yet).
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This was the first year in 6 years that I didn't have a HUGE veggie garden out in the back 1/2-acre, but instead only a small one with 6 varieties of peppers and 6 tomato plants, all up close to the house/carport where I walk by every day. The drought and temps in the low 100's for over 70 days straight gave me only grape & cherry tomatoes for about 2-3 weeks in late spring, then nothing grew except the plants that struggled to survive even though they got hand-watered every 1-2 days for those months of high heat. In Oct they started greening up and producing again (finally!!!), but as of the last day of November, I've only harvested one tomato off of them and no peppers are growing (yet).

This is one of the STRANGEST-shaped tomatoes I've ever seen, and it grew on MY tomato plant!  It's supposed to be a Big Bertha variety, but when the weather started to finally cool in October (down to the 90's), I gave each of the struggling veggie plants a small amount of strong fertilizer when this tomato was round and about the size of a cherry tomato. The result not only made this tomato go crazy but the next one pictured, too.
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This is one of the STRANGEST-shaped tomatoes I've ever seen, and it grew on MY tomato plant! It's supposed to be a "Big Bertha" variety, but when the weather started to finally cool in October (down to the 90's), I gave each of the struggling veggie plants a small amount of strong fertilizer when this tomato was round and about the size of a cherry tomato. The result not only made this tomato go crazy but the next one pictured, too.

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Fall and Thanksgiving 2011 015.JPG
I finally picked the previously-shown tomato on Nov 29th.
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I finally picked the previously-shown tomato on Nov 29th.

As full of grape tomatoes as this bush was (in mid-Nov), before they ripened we had a freeze, and although I covered the bush(es), none of the tomatoes survived.
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As full of grape tomatoes as this bush was (in mid-Nov), before they ripened we had a freeze, and although I covered the bush(es), none of the tomatoes survived.

These were the tomatoes that had either fallen to the ground after the freeze or ones I'd picked off the plant, in hopes that they might ripen on our counter after a few days.  All they did was get fuzzy, white mold/fungus starting to grow on them all, (without ripening).  I was SO disappointed as I'd babied these plants thru the harshest of summer weather and then thru the fall and early winter, all to get nothing from them.
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These were the tomatoes that had either fallen to the ground after the freeze or ones I'd picked off the plant, in hopes that they might ripen on our counter after a few days. All they did was get fuzzy, white mold/fungus starting to grow on them all, (without ripening). I was SO disappointed as I'd babied these plants thru the harshest of summer weather and then thru the fall and early winter, all to get nothing from them.

My second VERY strange-shaped tomato, due to the heavy fertilizer put around the bushes when the two strange-shaped tomatoes were in their infancy size.
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My second "VERY strange-shaped" tomato, due to the heavy fertilizer put around the bushes when the two strange-shaped tomatoes were in their infancy size.

My 2013 small veggie garden a few weeks after planting it: tomato, pepper, yellow onions, lettuce & Cilantro plants, plus planted seeds for zucchini, green beans and broccoli.  The tires (with the sidewalls sawed out of them) surround the tomato plants, plus the white PVC pipes in each one are about 2 ft long each, with 6 holes drilled along one side on the lower 6 of the pipe, then placed where the holes will be alongside the roots.  The tip is to only water the plants via the pipe, giving them about a pint of water every 3-5 days.  It's a new technique for me to try this year.
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My 2013 small veggie garden a few weeks after planting it: tomato, pepper, yellow onions, lettuce & Cilantro plants, plus planted seeds for zucchini, green beans and broccoli. The tires (with the sidewalls sawed out of them) surround the tomato plants, plus the white PVC pipes in each one are about 2 ft long each, with 6 holes drilled along one side on the lower 6" of the pipe, then placed where the holes will be alongside the roots. The tip is to only water the plants via the pipe, giving them about a pint of water every 3-5 days. It's a new technique for me to try this year.

This is my first time trying my hand at growing lettuce.  We just harvested enough last night for the first time to be enough for our dinner salad(s).  Yummy & colorful, too!
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This is my first time trying my hand at growing lettuce. We just harvested enough last night for the first time to be enough for our dinner salad(s). Yummy & colorful, too!

Throw in another 5-gallon bucket 1/2-filled and you'll have the total pecans we picked off just ONE tree in our yard this year!  That same tree probably hasn't had even 1 bucket worth over the previous 10 falls that we've lived here!  That's the great news; this BUMPER crop!  The bad news is I'm the only pecan-cracker in the family, but my husband is the primary pecan-eater!
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Throw in another 5-gallon bucket 1/2-filled and you'll have the total pecans we picked off just ONE tree in our yard this year! That same tree probably hasn't had even 1 bucket worth over the previous 10 falls that we've lived here! That's the great news; this BUMPER crop! The bad news is I'm the only pecan-cracker in the family, but my husband is the primary pecan-eater!

My veggie garden a couple of months after planting.  So far, the lettuce is all we've harvested from but many other plants have babies on them.
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My veggie garden a couple of months after planting. So far, the lettuce is all we've harvested from but many other plants have babies on them.

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Kittens 5+ Weeks 034.JPG