Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Watersaver Landscape Tour 2014: Rushing Street

There's just something about this spiky, green and gravelly garden that draws me in.  That's what I enjoyed most about visiting this garden on the Water Saver Landscape Tour in San Antonio last fall.  The tour is held each October to inspire San Antonio homeowners to ditch their water guzzling turf grass lawns in favor of native and adapted plants.  No sign of turf grass in this landscape and it wasn't missed due to excellent plant choices for our climate.  There are more photos than I typically show in a single post since I didn't want you to miss a single detail.

This first view along the front curb invites with repetition of form and texture combining soft perennials and spiky agaves.

The massive live oak tree reaches out to welcome with open arms.  The homeowner has fond memories as a teenager of riding her bicycle up the hill when this was ranch land to sit under this tree with her friends.  How wonderful that she and her husband had the opportunity to purchase the property and build their home here years later.

The wall was carefully constructed to preserve the tree.

The best garden designs work with the architecture of the house and this one takes the additional step of matching the color of the house to the plants.

Behind the walls a welcoming entry.

The entry expands out to a relaxing courtyard presided over by those gorgeous live oaks.

With most of the plants in the gray-green range the garden relies on terracotta, oak bark, and rusty metal for subtle contrast.

Monochromatic color schemes are described as restful and this courtyard bears that out.

Most design guides will state that monochromatic is the easiest scheme to pull off.  Green is the clear choice for a monochromatic garden except if you are, like me, a plant fanatic then the discipline shown here in plant selection is impressive.  It's not entirely green, there are shots of flower colors like the yellow hesperaloe planted in the tree circle.

A flagstone path leads from the courtyard.  When agaves won't fit the Foxtail Fern repeats the form in a different texture.  Speakers under the balcony evoke entertaining afternoons and evenings spent in the garden.

A winding path leads through the narrow garden space behind the the house.

This hammock chair is inviting

Terracotta pots of all shapes, sizes and textures complete the scene.

Very few match yet they all work together

Terracotta chimney liners used as a bench.

Fig ivy covered wire fencing as deck skirting and railing.

A faux bois birdbath is the centerpiece of this planting.

A real tree stump turned table in another nearby vignette echoes the faux bois across the way.

A potting bench and work space comes into view at the end of the path.

Bottles on bamboo stakes in a bed of clumping bamboo.

Fabulous collection of tropical plants enjoying the warm fall day outdoors.

Bamboo muhly softens the driveway edge.

Back around to the courtyard.

The other side of the tree putting its arms through the wall.

The homeowner (on the right) with a visitor as the mail carrier waves.

A shady sitting area and path to one side of the front walk invites exploration

Across the walk are more pathways to explore around to the side street.

The corner lot allows for a good size side garden.

The homeowner does all her own garden work, including spreading the gravel.  We shared a good laugh about the comments and stares from passersby we get when working in our front gardens.

The white flowers of Blackfoot Daisy add interest on the corner.

I enjoyed spending time exploring this beautiful example of pulling together all the elements of texture, color and form in a watersaving landscape.