April 25, 2019
Whoop! My Agave celsii is sending up flower spikes. Actually, this one colonized, so there are two. It last bloomed in 2011 and didn’t die, so I’ll see what happens.
Bees abound. Their newest target is native rusty blackhaw viburnum’s (Viburnum rufidulum) white-flowered bouquets.
No longer do I have a cat to smirk while I run around covered in sweat, scratches, and indecision.
Neighbor cats drop by, but leave the garden alone. But many gardeners, like Evelyn Myler, have a cat that uses the vegetable garden as a litter box. Is this okay? Get Daphne’s answer (no) and what to do.
And I’d love to hear your ideas for keeping cats out of your (garden) beds! Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the rain, fungal disease and pest insects are primed to hit. John’s got ideas to help you take charge.
This week, I’m really excited to introduce you to a new family nursery, Wimberley Gardens, celebrating their first year anniversary!
In just one year, Jennie and Matt Horvath revived a long-gone family nursery that most recently housed a barbecue joint. They unearthed the original paths and Matt restored the dilapidated hoop houses.
Already, they’re serving up gorgeous gardens with native plants for drought, deer resistance and wildlife habitat, along with annual color and indoor intrigue.
Honestly, they have plants—including lots of natives—that you don’t run into every day of the week, plus one-on-one attention and answers.
Jennie and Matt hooked it to Austin to join us, while their extremely knowledgeable, friendly staff held down the fort. You’ll love their story of how they got started and what they’re doing to make Wimberley Gardens a family fun destination.
They brought along a sampling of drought tough plants, but one I want to highlight is their Serena™ series Angelonia, a Texas Superstar plant.
This warm weather annual, also called summer snapdragon, Angelonia is a reliable non-stop bloomer all summer to attract pollinators. Its compact size (about the size of a snapdragon) is perfect for small spaces, front of borders, and containers. Watch now.
Bonus for your trip to Wimberley Gardens: a yummy food court across the street.
Next door to that, check out Durango’s Mexican Restaurant for the best migas and salsa around (and probably everything else)!
On tour, Naomi and Bob Bennett elevated their imagination in a rocky hilltop West Austin garden where spiritual design started with practical problems.
To control erosion and flooding, Peter Fleury of Oasis Gardens threaded a dry creek bed across the front.
A yoga teacher, Naomi wanted to harmonize the union of body, mind and spirit with Texas land challenges and memories of Japan. Instead of formality, they wanted a philosophy where the Texas Hill Country meets the Orient.
At the front door, Peter built a pond and stream that connects to the dry creek bed’s small pond.
Naomi tells us, “So the reason you go over the bridge is because you’re entering another dimension. You’re going from the outside world to our world inside.”
Portals are another dimensional aspect. One portal they changed was the front door entrance, opening up its façade. They lined the interior roof with mountain cedar culled from the backyard.
Along their updated walkway, they clustered small native trees—including red or scarlet buckeye (Aesculus pavia)—and exotic Japanese maple with hardy perennials, bulbs, grasses and wildflowers.
Perpetual structure carries the transitory late spring garden into a summer and fall blooming palette.
For a low-growing, evergreen grassy element, they chose Berkley sedge. Wildflowers and bulbs pop up in what’s become a flowering, flowing meadow.
In back, they never had lawn. What’s now a 75 foot waterfall, ponds, and living areas was once a gradually eroding ravine and invasive plants.
To turn an eroding eyesore they couldn’t navigate (except by zipline) into a wondrous waterfall destination, Peter built retaining walls, terraced with planting ledges and sitting areas.
Even the stone bench alongside their outdoor living deck is a retaining wall.
Bob hauled home lots of plants from local nurseries and Dan Hosage’s Madrone Nursery.
Then, they met designer Scott Ogden who took them to the next level of seasonal dimension.
To irrigate plants and fill the ponds, they installed rainwater collection, including visible tanks and two underneath their deck.
For deer fencing and destination portals, they culled mountain cedar from the property and stripped and stained it.
Ahoy maties! Director Ed Fuentes and Mark Morrow had as much fun on the tugboat as I did.
It started with some leftover “things” and an out-of-work carpenter. The Bennett’s kids loved it, of course. Now that they’re grown, it’s party central with a view.
Alongside the house, an intimate retreat invites quiet meditation. Fragrant roses clamber over a fern-adorned grotto waterfall. Not only a privacy screen from the neighbors, its reinforced walls prevent mudslides. And, it’s a restful view from indoors.
Well, you’ve just got to hear it in their own passionate words!
And thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda