A garden is the best alternative therapy.

I was at Home Depot today picking up some lumber for the additional garden beds, and I stopped to smell the flowers.  Even inside of the covered area of the garden section, I found several honeybees buzzing in and around a group of flowers on display.  I thought – excellent, this is what I need to draw more beneficial insects to the garden area.  I looked several over and chose a large Cuphea shrub and two smaller Lantana plants.

cuphea hyssopifolia, Mexican Heather

cuphea hyssopifolia, false heather

IMG_5705

This shrub variety of Cuphea is native to Mexico, so I’m sure that it will do well here in the Texas climate.

yellow Lantana

yellow Lantana

IMG_5707

The Lantana were root bound, so I replanted them both in a large pot.  For now, I have placed both plants along the East side of the house because it is protected from the late afternoon sun.  When the weather gets cooler, I’ll move them out by the squashes and cukes to increase the likelihood of them being pollinated by bees, butterfly and possibly hummingbird – the later of which really loves the Cuphea.  We already have seen hummingbird feeding on the Hibiscus nectar, so I’m sure this will be an appreciated addition to their diet.

Today, I drew up the plans for the additional beds, which will contain three types of lettuce, two types of carrots, spinach and broccoli.  As I have it figured out, I have about three feet to grow lettuce, two feet for carrots, and two feet for spinach.  I’ll build another three foot by three foot bed for the broccoli.

sketch of garden plan

sketch of garden plan

I should be able to get at least sixteen lettuce plants in their section, which I will sow successively rather than all at one time.  I should also be able to plant sixty plus carrots, nine broccoli and twenty plus spinach.

lettuce seeds

spinach carrot seeds

It doesn’t look like I’m going to get to building the beds today like I had hoped.  I have all the materials I need and the dirt and seeds, so I guess it can wait.  I can work on them throughout the week.  In the meantime, I have already started some lettuce seeds (nine of each variety above).  I’m going to let them grow 4-6 weeks before I put them out in the beds.  At that time, I’ll also sow the carrots and spinach.

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Comments on: "Garden addition: Cuphea and Lantana" (6)

  1. We’re in the same boat — we have three beds that need to get built, and soon. We also have a lot of painting to finish, and we have to move the shed. It’s a busy time, and oh look, here comes the rain! I’m not complaining. Rain > projects.

  2. I love your drawings. I draw my beds too, and then I use bamboo sticks to layout the sections when I plant. I just built a raised bed and now I am planting in barrels. I put spinach seeds in a wet papertowel in the refrigerator for 2 days, and just took them out. We’ll see if they sprout….the ones direct sowed did nothing.

    • roundrockgarden said:

      Hi Laura, and thanks! I’m one to plan things out as best as I can – and it helps me figure out just how many I can cram into the raised beds and still allow the plants to have room to grow. I’ll take heed of your experience with the spinach and pre-germinate inside and transplant instead. What kind of seeds did you use? I’ve had a really good germ. rate so far with the Seeds of Change, which is the brand of spinach I’ll be using as well. I should get them started soon – this weekend, I’m building more beds. Looks like the rain is going to hold off for me …

  3. Nice plan! I have lantana in my container garden, too, and it is wonderfully fragrant — citrus-y. Good luck!

    • roundrockgarden said:

      yeah, i think i want to buy a few more of them – they’re really pretty. And, as you’ve said, very fragrant!

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