Wednesday, August 7, 2013

"Sir Smitty's" Garden

Sir Oliver "Smitty" Smith is well known in San Antonio for his pond and native plant gardens so I quickly accepted an invitation from a local gardening group to attend Happy Hour in his garden.

The party was mainly in the back yard so I took the opportunity to explore the lawnless front yard on my own.



What was once a boring St. Augustine turf-grass lawn is now chock-full of plants with gravel pathways.

 
Since our host was busy, I didn't get to ask a lot of questions about the garden.  This little sign provides a clue into his ideas for the front garden.


I've admired this iron arbor in a local nursery so it was nice to see it used in a garden setting.


Plants and pathways with native stone borders to guide the visitor.


Under the big oak tree is a seating area surrounded with plants to provide privacy from the street.


A collection of feeders and birdhouses from the tree branches.
 
 
On to the backyard to admire the golf course view.


The hill is steeper than it appears in the photos.  The steep rocky slope was covered with thirsty St. Augustine lawn when Smitty moved here from California and now it is a forest of native and adapted plants.


One of several ponds and water features throughout the garden.








Plenty of plants, pathways, and arbors


Aniscathus Wrightii is a great plant for our hot, dry summer plus it attracts hummingbirds.



Bright red Turk's Cap



Here's our host on the left chatting with guests.







This Texas Persimmon tree has something ours don't, namely fruit.



Lots of fun details here too.  The doghouse is stone.


The small anole Mediterranean house gecko under the porch light is real.


 
What about that title?  You know I forgot to ask about the title, it sounds like a story as fun as the evening.

18 comments:

  1. How pretty. I love the arbors over the paths; they always make me want to walk through and see what surprises are on the other side. I'd love to see more photos of the ponds.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the tour, the ponds are on a steep slope surrounded by rocks and plants making it a challenge to take photos. I didn't want to spoil the party by falling in!

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  2. I really like it! The pond, pathway, and arbor are fantastic. I'm moving more and more toward self-sufficient plants. ;-)

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    1. It's so much easier to use plants which work in our respective climates.

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  3. That's a very lush garden and I love it! It fits right in to the natural flow of the region and that's another reason why it's nice. The bird houses are fantastic.
    Thanks for the tour.
    David/:0)

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    1. This type of garden fits much better on the limestone hillside than a lawn.

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  4. Shirley, it's not an anole. it's a Mediterranean House Gecko. Other than that, loved your post.

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    1. Thanks Brian, I have made the correction in the post. Anoles are native while the gecko is not.

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  5. I visited his garden about 15 years ago with the Master Gardener group...if this is the same place he lived then. It looks beautiful and it did then too, but of course lots of changes and things grown to maturity. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful garden sanctuary.

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    1. This should be the same place as it takes at least that many years to get plants to this size on a rocky hillside. It was a nice, relaxing evening enjoying all those plants.

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  6. Looks like a good time, in a great garden.
    So many lush plants. Shows what can be done with natives.

    Thanks for the tour.

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    1. It was very nearly a jungle of great plants. I was amazed by it.

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  7. "Sir Smitty"...is he a knight? Man, I am watching too much Game of Thrones ;) ha! Best show on TV! Anyways.....back to Sir Smitty....I love his garden. It looks so relaxing and a safe haven for many creatures and humans alike! Thank you for sharing this beautiful retreat!

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    1. I'll have to ask that question sometime. It was quite a retreat!

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  8. That looks like a fun garden to get lost in. :o)

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  9. What a treat to see this garden in person!

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  10. Shirley, I hadn't seen these pictures until just today. Great photos of a 'garden-gone-wild' but captured at a time when things looked really good. We must have had recent rains or you took photos of great color in what sometimes is just a green jungle. I applaud your talents at finding some of the unique areas of the landscape that really show off the placement of plants and/or the hardscape and art features. I hope we get rains soon or my natural but unwatered 1/2 acre will be under a true test of Xeriscape. S. O. Smith

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    1. Hi Smitty, Anne sent you a link way back when but you must have missed it. I'm glad you like the post and I enjoyed visiting your garden. It's been a tough year here as well but we've had a couple of showers the last few days.

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