How does your garden grow?

Ours grows very well, apparently. We were in Flagstaff, AZ this past weekend for my cousin Nathan’s wedding, which was gorgeous and super fun. Welcome to the family Ashley! And to the exclusive Cousins Club. (I just made that up, there is no club. But there is a table you can sit at now!)

Anyway, S and I arrived home to find all sorts of exciting things happening in our yard. This is a nice surprise, as anything we planted in Orlando never did very well. Probably something to do with the sandy soil and forgetting to water the plants… The soil in our yard now has a fair amount of clay in it, which helps retain water, and we have been getting a good amount of rain on top of that. How ’bout some pretty pictures now?!

We have this bush on one side of our patio that we thought was just a bush. It is a nice green color, needs a little shaping, but nothing too exciting. Just a green bush. WELL, now it looks like this:

Turns out it is an azalea bush! Not just green, but covered in pretty pink flowers! According this site, I believe it is an Autumn Twist Encore Azalea, which blooms in midsummer, long after most azaleas have finished blooming.

Also by our patio are two large pots, one of which has nothing in it but dirt, while the other has this petunia that was there when we moved in and I haven’t touched. Except maybe once. And I might have watered it once too. But other than that, I have done nothing to it. And it seems to like it that way.

Out front we have a few Variegated Lilyturf plants (according to our handy-dandy Southeast Home Landscaping book) that have finally started blooming their pretty purple blooms. They were also there when we moved in.

In the picture above you see the lilyturf, a gap in the flower bed, and then a few flowers farther down, toward the driveway. Down there is another pre-existing lilyturf, and we planted a couple of red coneflowers and sage plants, neither of which has died yet.

Ignore the weed in the corner.

Now it’s time to play “Name that Plant!” But really, I don’t what these are.

I’m pretty sure this is some kind of fountain grass, but it is so much larger than most kinds of fountain grass (taller than me)! JD¬† likes to hide under it and pretend he is a jungle cat.

No idea what this is. It is currently about 3 feet tall. We plan on leaving it and seeing what it turns into.

Ground-cover? Weed? We pulled it out when S’s family was here, but obviously didn’t get all of it. Anybody recognize it?

Oh, in case you were wondering, we are about 300 miles from the coast and not even supposed to get any rain from Hurricane Irene. I was hoping we would at least get some rain.