Here is my garden as it looks today. I have some red and white onions planted from sets in mid-February. They were trampled twice before I realized that the dog could easily open the gate and instituted additional bungee-based security measures. Before that I wrongly accused the family of leaving it open. In the rear left of the picture is a whole bunch of cilantro that is starting to bolt. I am going to let it flower and reseed because I love cilantro. Also, the flowers themselves are delicious and look super-fancy and classy if you sprinkle them on some, say, fresh cantaloupe. The flowers taste somewhere between cilantro and coriander. I don't know how to describe tastes. Peppery and tangy? Cilantro-ish?
Speaking of fancy and classy, I've got some asparagus planted in the center. I have never grown it before, but I know it takes a while to establish. Mine are from two 4inch pots I planted a year ago. I just let it grow really tall and fall over. More spears keep coming up and I want that whole 6x4ish planter full of the stuff, so I better look up how to make it grow best. Maximum fancy.
Less fancy is the trash can full of red potato also planted mid-February. I grew potatoes last year, but didn't get much at all. It was like Sad Christmas when I dumped the can and didn't find many potatoes. A dude from Callahan's said maybe I watered them too much, so we'll see.
Also in the garden is some Salvia greggii, Eupatorium havanense (Fragrant Mistflower), Artemesia 'Powis Castle,' Malvaviscus arboreus (Turk's Cap), and some other junk like Smilax bona-nox (Saw Greenbriar.) I can't really get rid of the briar, so I just cut it back and eat the tips, which are actually pretty good. The Turk's Cap was in place before the garden expanded so I just grandfathered it in to the garden. Once it was on the drip, it went crazy and I see hummingbirds pretty much every day out there when it is blooming. Nothing attracts hummingbirds like M. arboreous on drip, in my admittedly limited experience. The Mistflowers were annexed in the last garden expansion and I am not sure if I want to move them. They are the best butterfly plant I know and they get swarmed when in bloom. At a previous house where I had a garden I had a Artemesia absinthium x arboreum 'Powis Castle' that was always covered in ladybugs, so I planted one by the garden when we got this house and I have never seen a ladybug on it. But I really love the leaf-shape and fragrance of this guy so that's fine.
This year I plan to devote about 30 or so square feet a piece to tomatoes and peppers. Last year was so hot and dry that I didn't get peppers until the heat started to taper off. I kept the plants happy all summer on drip and had a pretty strong crop eventually. Mariachi was the hybrid pepper that I got a ton of fruit from, as well as jalapeños and serranos. Hybrid tomatoes that did well for me were Sweet Millions, Ping Pong Pink, and Better Boy. Really though, I think I am more of an heirloom-type guy than a hybrid guy, so we'll see what I plant this year. I always have better luck with smaller, cherry types.
I also plan to grow a whole lot of cucumbers this year. Those things are so productive and delicious and easy to grow - I love them. They really take the brutal heat. I am going to devote a lot of space to Straight 8's, Armenians, and a pickling variety called Wisconsin something or other.
Last year I had a lot of Kentucky Wonder beans that didn't produce at all in the heat, however, the few Yardlong Beans I planted cranked out beans all summer. Maybe it's too dry here for the classic Phaseolus garden-beans, so I am switching over to Vigna, the genus of black-eyed peas etc that are more common in hot parts of the world.
Last year I grew a bunch of Luffa gourd, and I plan to expand to bottle gourds as well this year. I read something on Wikipedia or somewhere that bottle gourd was the only cultivated plant that the New and Old Worlds both shared prior to arrival of Europeans in the Americas. It was thought that the gourds may have floated over the Atlantic, but now seems like it was brought over with the earliest settlers to the Americas when they crossed the Bering Straight. It is among the very first domesticated plants. It makes sense when you think about it: hunter-gatherers could find food wherever they went, but without a way to carry water they couldn't range further than a day's travel from fresh water. That kind of stuff fascinates me.
Here are some cedar posts that I am going to use to make raised veggie bed, Lincoln-log style and pinned in place with rebar. In Texas, we like to call all Junipers "Cedar." It's a pretty odd thing. That's why scientific nomenclature is best. These are Juniperus, not Cedrus or whatever. I will use the binomials if I know them, but I can't be held responsible for spelling as I can't look all these up or remember them perfectly. If I think I know, I will guess. If I only know the genus I will just put that and common only if that's all I know.
Here's a Dayflower that grows wild in my yard. I don't know it's real name, but I know it's native and really cool. It is only open in the morning and folds back up at some point and the petals curl in on themselves. I like flowers that open and close. There is a Rock Rose (Pavonia lasiopetala) right beside it that behaves similarly. Maybe I will make that the theme over there and put in some Datura and Morning Glorys etc.