Hot Picks for Summer + Recycle Design Create

No surprise that Texas weather is weird, but this year beats all. Star jasmine took its sweet time to whoosh its perfume across our patio. I’ve trained this one over a tiny trellis to divide two spaces.
star jasmine Central Texas Gardener
Byzantine gladiolus was a slowpoke, too, though it’s reliably returned and multiplied since someone shared heirloom corms years ago.
byzantine gladiolus Central Texas Gardener
Penstemon cobaea and salvias poise tube-shaped flowers styled to snuggle bees. Orange ‘Linda’ lily on the left.
Penstemon cobaea and salvias Central Texas Gardener
Mosquitoes didn’t waste any time, though! John’s got natural repellents to use in the yard and on yourself, including homemade skin sprays that smell mighty fine.
natural mosquito repellents Central Texas Gardener
Some insects have come and gone, which is the case on Kim Johnson’s Texas persimmon tree. Is this harmful and should she do anything about it?
Texas persimmon galls Central Texas Gardener
Daphne explains that these persimmon leaf galls are caused by a mite that lays its eggs on the leaves, causing the plant to react by producing blister-like cysts. “Since the leaf tissue surrounds and protects the young mites, spraying with any sort of product won’t have any effect,” Daphne tells us. Find out why galls won’t harm the tree.

Even though things will soon be blistering hot, Jessica Robertson from wholesale grower Greenleaf Nursery has the latest hot picks for summer and beyond.
Tom Spencer and Jessica Robertson Central Texas Gardener
Many of us know her from Backbone Valley Nursery. Now with Greenleaf—meeting with nurseries around Central Texas—she popped in to show off plants to watch for. One is ‘Lime Sizzler’ firebush™ (Hamelia patens ‘Grelmsiz’). What a color combo!
Hamelia Lime Sizzler Central Texas Gardener
And wow on this new esperanza (Tecoma stans ‘Sparklette’).
Esperanza Sparklette Central Texas Gardener
In part shade, Crossandra is one of Jessica’s summer faves. I’m such a sucker for orange that Crossandra ‘Orange Marmalade’ has me sold! Perfect for containers, too.
'Orange Marmalade' crossandra Central Texas Gardener copy
Gerber daisy is a dickens to grow here. Not so with drop dead pretty, heat-tough Garvinea series Gerber daisy.
Garvinea series gerber daisies Central Texas Gardener
And for morning sun, I adore this trio of Euphorbias: ‘Red Velvet’, ‘Silver Swan’, and ‘Ascot Rainbow’.
euphorbia Red Velvet, Silver Swan Ascot Rainbow Central Texas Gardener copy
Oh, there’s so much more, including darling lavender Plectranthus, a dwarf fig tree ‘Little Miss Figgy’, and a deep green, compact boxwood. Get her complete plant list and growing conditions right here!

Another euphorbia, gopher plant (Euphorbia rigida) silvers things up all year.
gopher plant accent smoke tree Central Texas Gardener
gopher plant and aloe bloom Central Texas Gardener
In spring, here in director Ed Fuentes’ raised bed, it flaunts papery yellow flowers.
gopher plant raised steel planter Central Texas Gardener
Find out how to grow silver spurge as Daphne’s Plant of the Week.
gopher plant euphorbia bud Central Texas Gardener
So, what’s summer without tequila? Viewer Picture goes to Phyllis and Charlie Hirst, who put a spin on bottle trees with a hand-blown tequila bottle tree.
bottle tree Hirst Central Texas Gardener
On tour, Casey Boyter’s an innovative designer who conserves resources through green roofs, low water landscapes, and creative recycling.
Casey Boyter Central Texas Gardener
At home in east Austin’s Govalle neighborhood, her garden’s a personal test site and sweet retreat.
patio mixed stone to concrete raised beds Central Texas Gardener
It also represents her integral commitment to sustainable and long-lasting structure. Poured-in-place concrete rounds step up sidewalk style.
concrete rounds path Casey Boyter Central Texas Gardener
concrete rounds path to flagstone patio Central Texas Gardener
Casey patterned the patio from her diverse collection of scavenged stones and bricks.
patio design mixed stonework Casey Boyter Central Texas Gardener
Theo, one of her rescued cats, directed this shoot. Here, taking a break with audio/lighting guy Taylor Kondelis. Ed Fuentes behind the camera after a cuddle cat break.
cat cuddle patio Central Texas Gardener
Casey chose this spot, rich with urban farms (Hausbar just across the street), for its sweet soil. But to create dimension, she chose rebar-reinforced concrete for her raised vegetable and herb beds.
concrete raised beds pathway Central Texas Gardener
Remnants from a demolished sidewalk, leftover Leuders, and sandstone texture up the walkway, spaced to allow rainfall to soak in. A clumping, multiplex bamboo house-side frames the journey opposite the fence.
pathway mixed stone Casey Boyter Central Texas Gardener
To separate the garden from her crew prep area, her talented masons showcase interesting finds and scavenges in a rubble wall.
wall artistic recycled materials Casey Boyter Central Texas Gardener
wall stones bricks art metal recycles Central Texas Gardener
wall stones bricks art succulent Central Texas Gardener
wall niches succulents Central Texas Gardener
She didn’t want a fence that would fall down in a few years. The top is locally found Eastern red cedar, welded with a steel frame for lasting support. The bottom third is expanded metal, dug into the ground. Not only does it allow air flow, it’s perfect for dog Daisy to keep her curious eye on things.
cedar fence with metal screening Central Texas Gardener
In front, Casey opens visibility with expanded metal where a clematis can anchor.
open metal mesh fence Central Texas Gardener
To get to her design office, designed by architect Mel Lawrence, Casey simply walks across the yard.
Mel Lawrence office design Casey Boyter Central Texas Gardener
Zac Zamora of Variance Design installed a living wall in her office shower room to continue her exploration of plants, people, and planet.
living wall in shower room Central Texas Gardener
Watch her whole story now.

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week.