Friday, October 24, 2014

Another beautiful San Antonio garden to share...

The second stop on our recent visit to San Antonio was Heather's garden from Xeric style.  Her style is certainly xeric, yet with many soft grasses, draping perennials and ground cover, it has a delicate feel. You can see my post about the first garden here.

 Purple fountain grass frames a collection of other grasses and yuccas.
The sun was blazing hot that day, so taking photos was a real  challenge.  These yuccas were enveloped in a blanket of pretty purple trailing lantana, but it's hard to see that here.
In this his view of the front of the house you can see that her landscape is well matched to her contemporary style house.
The pots scattered around were also full of drought tolerant native and adapted plants like this cactus, grass and silver ponyfoot.
Another special touch greets visitors at the front door.  The sleek orange planter echoes the color of  the front door.
 This beautiful grass and its inflorescence shine against a backdrop of cacti paddles.
Retro/modern chairs next to the orange door and planted on the front porch complete the look as you enter the house.
Another beautiful agave, a grey weberi, I think, softened by a fuchsia salvia.  Two plants that can really handle the heat.

In the shade of the back yard, we were treated to a show by her chickens, who were intrigued by the visitors to the garden.
Also nestled under the tree - a wonderful hammock for lazing about and pondering garden projects.
I was taken with this bed that included drought tolerant plants like the bulbine, with a lovely cairn painstakingly placed in the middle.

Don't forget the whimsy.  This bright seating area was decorated with several plants in unique pots -- plastic tub trugs!
I always celebrate Dia de los Muertos since I worked once a week for a year in my company's Mexico city office.  I learned to understand and came to love this unique celebration of the lives of lost loved ones.  Needless to say, these beautiful ceramic plates caught my eye.
 And yet another special touch -- cacti planted in a pipe suspended on the fence.
Okay, so you've seen these in gardens, right?  These are made from bamboo given to Heather by her neighbor and she spray painted them orange, her theme color.  How clever. Now if only I knew someone with extra bamboo!
I was taken with this simple, elegant pot in front of the garage.  I don't know which I liked more -- the beautiful pot or the cascading firecracker fern.
 And here's our friend, Lori, of Gardener of Good and Evil, who has found the perfect spot from which to survey the garden.
Heather professes that she's stingy with water and is always on the lookout for plants and methods that conserve our precious water.  Her garden was the perfect example of the beauty of a truly xeric garden.

Thanks, Heather, for sharing your beautiful garden with us!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

A little garden trip down the road...

Last week I went on a jaunt to visit some of our blogging friends in San Antonio. They've come to Austin periodically, so it was time to venture south to see them. Our first stop was Melody's beautiful and spacious garden. After a treat of delicious mini muffins and ginger cookies baked by her lovely daughter, we stepped into her sanctuary. The first view is a wonderful pool, surrounded by pots and plants that gave it a rustic, more natural look.

To deal with foraging deer, this fence guards Melody's vegetables, herbs and some perennial favorites.
Garden art like this gazing ball catches your eye as you meander through the perennial garden.
Depending on which way you walk, this beautiful arbor marks the beginning or the end of a delightful path.
A shroud of vibrant green vines clothe the wooden structure.
This long view emphasizes the beautiful, though tough-to-photograph day with its bright light and deep shadows.
And then there were the gorgeous plants, like this salvia madrensis, one of my faves.

And then there were the gorgeous plants, like this salvia madrensis, one of my faves.  Clever uses of ordinary things added such a nice touch, like this cracked cement birdbath repurposed as a planter with a small figurine in the center.
Carrying on with the wooden theme, this vignette beckons deep in the path and offers a place to sit and ponder the garden.
Pots like this one, overflowing with bougainvillea, are scattered throughout the garden landscape.
Another striking salvia, Wendy's wish stands out among lower layers of perennials.
From the distance, the arbor is quaint, but standing underneath, it's quite grand.
I almost passed this dragonfly by as he was well camouflaged by backdrop of the fence and the surrounding plants.
Another long view across the landscape.
Across the yard, this rustic trellis serves as a home to a vine and a birdhouse.

Coral vine adorns this rustic limestone wall to the tool shed...though it's really more like a tool house.

Inside the safety of the high fence, a collection of tasty hibiscus grow with impunity.
Sunlight streams in to light up this seating area.
More friendly and welcoming plants in the garden.

My tools don't look like this!
While not a blogger, we tried to convince Melody to blog so we can keep up with her garden, but we didn't succeed - yet!   Pam Pennick, of Digging, and our hostess, Melody, as we're saying our goodbyes.

Thanks to Melody for graciously opening her home and garden to us for a wonderful morning.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bloom Day showcases late summer blooms in the garden...

Even though the thermometer hit 97 today, summer is beginning to wane here in Central Texas for Garden Bloggers Bloom Day.  Carol of May Dreams Gardens invites us to share what's blooming in our gardens on the 15th of each month, so here's a stroll through my landscape.

Some of the heat-loving perennials are on their second set of blooms this summer.  Plants like lantana, salvia, sage, are putting on a dog days show while the sun is still high in the sky.

I recently made a return trip to the Arbor Gate Nursery in Tomball to collect some of their wonderful garden art.  I came home with two ceramic fish and two blue/green glass ribbons to add to the one I bought on my original visit. Now I need to plant just the right things to create an appropriate vignette for them to "swim" around in.  But I had to put them in the garden somewhere until then, so here they are.
I also ordered some clever pieces online -- these three faucet flowers are guaranteed to be ever-blooming varieties!
 The seem to feel right at home with the blooming Turk's cap.
These monstrous salvias that are dwarfing the fully mature bright edge yucca are Amistad salvias that I transplanted last fall after they were under performing in another spot with too much sun. Here they get morning sun and evening sun and they seem to be thrilled with the switch.  Had I known they would get THAT happy, I'd have found them a spot further back in the bed!
One little surviving bat-faced cuphea.  I planted them amongst many other things that are deer resistant, hoping to hide them.  But alas, the deer are smarter than I am, and I almost never get to see an actual bloom before it becomes a snack.
This curve around the bend of the front bed is lined with society garlic - something the deer never eat!

These Salvia leucantha, or Mexican bush sage, love the hot, dry sun of late summer here in Central Texas.

 The society garlic border confetti lantana and one of my bird baths.
A few new additions to the front walkway bed this year, the foxtail ferns and zinnias have done well.  But the rock rose in the upper left corner has been rudely stripped of its pretty pink blooms by you-know-who.
The front bed, or the Hideous Bed, as we call it, is definitely not hideous.  These plants thrive in hot, dry conditions so they can take it here.  But last weekend's rain did help them with an extra boost. Here you see thryallis, santolina, a variegated yucca and homestead verbena.
And a different angle that also includes damianita and a salvia greggii.
To the right of these photos is a swath of blackfoot daisies -- they're natives that grow in rocky outcroppings of the Hill Country.
Across the drive is another dry bed that enjoys a little shade.  Here is new gold lantana, salvia greggii, a sago palm, and in the pot -- a variegated false agave.
Stunning liatris is a riot of lavender color. 
Large pots in the back by the pool have orange narrow-leaf zinnias and potato vine.
 ...And homestead verbena.
The Duranta erecta (lavender color) is full of blooms - below - and fruit -- above.  Though all parts of the plant are poisonous, so don't be tempted to eat the fruit.
 I have 3 different colors of Duranta - this one, the deep purple 'sapphire showers' and a white one.
This pitcher sage came from a 4' pot I bought at the semi-annual Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center sale.
Another shot of the Amistad salvias on steroids.
 One of my Turk's caps -- 'Pam's pink.'
 Some pots on the back patio that I rolled out into the rain for a drink.
Even though they are delicate and hard to see, I love adding Euphorbia 'diamond frost' into pots for filler.
And again, a supremely hardy lantana - cherry bandana -- perky all the time.

Happy garden bloggers bloom day.  What's blooming in your garden?