Archive for November, 2017

Latest Front Yard Project


A few months ago the front garden contained one large bed, one smaller bed containing pink autumn sage, and a smattering of fruit trees. Although the idea of fruit trees as a complement to the vegetable garden seemed great, the reality turned out quite different. In Austin we don’t get adequate water, so supplemental water is a must. In the summer I was watering each of these trees for nearly an hour each week. With water costs in the summer I found myself paying hundreds of dollars for a few pieces of fruit that I had to battle the squirrels for.

This summer I decided to rip out the fruit trees and go with native pollinator plants instead. Initially these plants will need supplemental water to get established, but eventually they could get by with water only in the warmest and driest of conditions.

Along with drought conditions, I also had to plant deer-resistant varieties. The bed varies from full sun to shade, which made plant selection both challenging  and fun.


I spent August and September planning and prepping. The first step was to have the Austin Garden Bloggers over for one of our monthly Go-Gos. In exchange for brunch, these talented gardeners shared a wide variety of creative ideas – many of which I implemented. My prepping included rock borders and hand removal of the grasses. My mother-in-law spent several weekend mornings helping out. Thanks Mom! I left much of the ground cover (frog fruit, horse herb) in place and chose to mulch with crushed live oak leaves.


My October weekends were spent shopping and planting, the fun part! Even though I planted all gallon-size pots, it will still take a few years to really fill out.


One of my favorite suggestions was from Pam Penick at Digging. She recommended that I break up the large bed with a grass river. I loved the idea, and went with Mexican Feather Grass. Not only do I love the size and coloring of this grass, but it is also readily available. The river will slowly blend with Ruby Crystal Grass as well.


I’ve got a few plants in bloom …


The new beds are a combination of new purchase and garden transplants. Due to the large size of the bed, (20X40) I decided to plant in clusters. Aside from really large plants, I went with 3 or more of each.

DSC_0191 2

New Purchases : Blue Glow Agave, Flame Acanthus, Copper Canyon Daisy, Trailing White Lantana, Native Texas Lantana, Wedelia, Desert Willow, Pink Skullcap, Purple Skullcap, Shrubby Boneset, Russian Sage, Texas Sotol, Mexican Feather Grass, Black Mondo Grass, Pigeon Berry, Lyre Leaf Sage, Dwarf Barbados Cherry, Thryallis, Limoncello, Turks Cap, Black and Blue Salvia, Inland Seaoats


Transplants from elsewhere in the my garden : Green Goblet Agave, Variegated Society Garlic, Betony, White and Pink Autumn Sage, Multi-color Irises, Chocolate Daisies, Russian Sage, Ruby Crystal Grass, Passalong Agave

Already Existing in Bed: Mountain Laurel, White and Pink Autumn Sage, Four O’clocks, Mexican Feather Grass, Damianita, Agarita




Read Full Post »