I’m convinced that they call it a yard because you can only do one yard at a time. Especially in the Texas heat.

My Pinterest board, called One YARD At A Time!, is filled with small projects and ideas for growing gardens in full-on shade. Interestingly, most of my yard is shade. The beautiful trees on our property keep out the sun but not the heat of Texas’ summers. Finding the right plants for hot, arid areas in the shade is a challenge my Oklahoma hilltop home never taught me.

Keck and I headed to the Dallas Farmers Market this morning. He was wearing shorts and sweatshirt. It was pleasantly warm on this Groundhog’s Day. We stopped by Ruibal’s Plants of Texas and sought out an expert.

For the front flowerbeds we needed shade shrubs. We have tried oleander but a really cold winter on the north face of our house killed them dead. We’ve gone without shrubs ever since.

Now binge-watching an English gardening guru, Monty Don, Keck and I have been inspired to try some gardening again.

We asked the expert what can we plant in the ground that doesn’t need acidic soil. I do know enough about shade-loving shrubs like azaleas, hydrangeas, bougainvilleas, and others, to understand that they won’t grow here in Oak Cliff without some treatment of the soil.

Armed with a variated pittosporum and two mountain snow pittosporums, and a good bag of compost, we came home and planted our new shrubs.

Our two new mountain snow pittosporums and new mulch.

True to form, our hoses were ruined, the hoe-head spun on its handle, our compost heap was dead, and we trudged over to Home Depot. Oh yeah, and we needed garden gloves.

Now, we have some back structure for a shade garden. Of course, we could only do the stuff on one side. Next week, weather permitting, we’ll take on the other side. Maybe we’ll trim our shrub into a crazy-shaped topiary.

This week, I need to buy some worms to revive our compost heap and order some other garden plantings. It felt good to be outside. Planting something for the future. ❤