Saturday, January 17, 2015

Some color in the winter garden...

The sun came out today and I took a tour around my garden, basking in the warmth.  As I passed each plant, mental notes began to form. 

Cut this one back in a month...this one fared really well in the last freeze...oh no, I should have covered that one...and, best of all...hey -- this one is blooming!

Against the backdrop of grey and brown, several bright spots dotted the landscape.

 If you were a bird, wouldn't you love spending the winter here?

 Although the roses have turned to hips, the tips of the branches remain alive with budding color.
 Apparently, the cold weather agrees with my viburnum.
 My absolute favorite spring bloomer, Japanese Quince, has begun showing off bright flowers against it's spiny, sculptural branches.
 And next to it, the primrose Jasmine is bursting into blooms and buds as well.
 The variegated ascot rainbow spurge has been transformed from the lime and yellow stripes it sported in summer to this rich, dark green and burgundy. 

And the sight of yaupon holly berries brings the woods to life with their shiny fruit.

While I'm certainly eager for the budding days of spring, it brings me a sense that all is right with the world as I watch the garden unfold across the seasons, as it is surely meant to do.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mellow and not so mellow yellow in my garden....

If you asked me about my favorite colors in the garden, I'd say: purple, lavender, blue, orange, yellow...and trail off about then.  I posted this a few months ago and forgot about it -- here are the names of all the yellow fellows in my garden:

Lantana Horrida
Lantana New Gold
Lantana confetti
Cuban buttercup
Candlestick tree
Jerusalem sage
St. John's wort
Bright edge yucca
Lemon Mallow
Gopher plant

I wouldn't even put yellow in my top 3.  And yet, as I look around my garden, it's yellow that I see everywhere.  It's a major element in many of my beds, but it's gotten there without serious thought to including it.

Let's face it, there are many plants with yellow blooms that love our hot sun and dry days.  So it's always easy to find something yellow to add to a vignette.

And as I count the yellow bloomers in my landscape, I smile.  Yellow makes me happy.  That must be why I am surrounded by it.  Subliminal intention.

As I was writing this post, I began typing the plant names, and then thought - why now make a contest out of it?  Let's see how many of these perky plants you can ID!  I'll edit the post when the guessing is done and post all the names.

Ready, set, go!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hill country garden charm in the heart of San Antonio...

The last stop on our visit to San Antonio gardens was another xeric garden, filled with drought-tolerant plants, both soft and sculptural. You can come along on the first two gardens of tour with me to see Melody's and Heather's gardens here.

Then we toured the garden of Shirley, who blogs at  Rock, Oak, Deer.  I 'd seen Shirley's garden through her camera lens many times, yet when we arrived, I was surprised to find that she wasn't gardening in the country, but in a suburban neighborhood.  Her style and plant choices created an oasis that made the rest of the world seem far away.
Well-placed plants serve to let the grasses and yuccas and perennials all shine.
Shirley uses repetition in her garden to create a dramatic effect.
Definition draws the eye through the space.
In the back yard, the focus is on perennials and grasses.  Her rustic shed with its cedar posts and porch make you feel like you've stepped back in time.  The arbor on the right is the entry for a deer-proof fence, protecting delicate plants and vegetables from the curious and hungry deer.
Leading to the shed, this circle garden is filled to the brim with flowing perennials and grasses.
Her unique rock garden design is home to a lovely collection of yuccas, cacti and agaves.
Rustic art and pots are scattered about to add interest throughout the garden.
The river rock path guides you around the plant-filled stock tank and circle garden to the shed.

Garden art on a rustic table is tucked away in the shade.
Whimsical elements make true garden art from a simple grapevine.
A collection of sweet somethings brighten up the front of the shed.
Because deer are frequent guests to the back yard, extra protection for new or special plants is a must. This rough cedar fence fits right into the landscape.
Up on the the large, shady deck, succulent planters adorn the windowsills.
All around the deck, pots and paraphernalia bring color to the shady spots.
Even the outdoor fireplace boasts a collection of perky little pots.
Since we've toured Austin gardens often with Shirley, it was a special treat to wander through her garden with her.  The entire garden was intentional and peaceful.  She's clearly mastered the art of gardening with the rocks, oaks and deer that she writes about.  Special thanks to Shirley and her husband for hosting us in your garden.

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!