Linda and her husband Alan purchased their new home in north central San Antonio in 2007 and started with a blank slate. I think it's interesting to see how no-lawn gardening works in their newer development with smaller lots. Linda is a garden designer who has written several articles on gardening with native plants. The current Spring 2016 issue of the Native Plant Society of Texas magazine News includes her article on interesting Texas native plants not commonly sold in nurseries.
One of the biggest challenges in writing any blog post is what to leave out and, as usual, I decided to include as much as I could fit in. We'll begin at the sidewalk with a sweep of raised-bed gardens filled with colorful native and adapted plants. No deer problem means she can plant roses in the front yard.
Linda's neighborhood is high on a hill at 1500' elevation where the terrain is even rockier than mine which is 500' lower and just minutes away . Resisting the urge to plant every inch, Linda mulched the rounded center space.
Guests are greeted by a table of succulents.
A single sculptural Anacacho Orchid holds court in a narrow raised bed.
Three Agave leguchilla accent the front corner. Jasmine clambers up the front column.
A crevice garden for succulents anchors the driveway corner. Linda's skilled placement of stones and plants is on full display.
Succulents are still filling in this fairly recent installation.
Large corner rocks were moved in place by a skid steer while most of the other rocks were collected on site and placed by Linda and Alan. Bluebonnets naturally find their way into small gravel spaces.
This channel below the windows keeps garden soil off the brick.
Pretty vignettes enhance views.
Cool details among the rocks.
Lantana and salvia soften low stone borders.
Linda inspired her neighbors to keep on going up the block by planting their parkway strips.
The neighbors down the block are inspired too. An Agave ovatifolia which was already there when Linda and Alan moved in anchors the far corner.
Just inside the back fence we are greeted with a blooming Peggy Martin or Katrina Rose.
Before we continue our tour of the back yard, here's a look at what they started with in 2007. That's Alan pondering the task ahead. Feel free to scroll back up to this photo as we tour.
Below is a similar view taken last week. Citrus, Pomegranates, Figs and all manner of wonderful plants. A vine will soon cover the screen in front of that ugly green box and neighboring homes have nearly disappeared. Typical lawn stretching between fence-hugging borders wouldn't provide the same sense of privacy at all.
All those rocks from the "Before" photo were put to work defining raised beds and dry creeks.
Water in these runoff channels sometimes reach whitecap stage during our legendary rain storms.
Getting into the Texas spirit "Javier Javelena" guards a Dasylerion wheeleri and blooming Pomegranate.
A rarely used firepit became a gravel garden over time. Some of these plants were collected on hikes in West Texas. Linda has become a fan of the desert and its plants since moving to Texas.
Originally a "ringing rock", this piece of native limestone lost its ring when it chipped but it still decorates a fence along with Kokopelli.
Bunny ears cactus looks cute and bubbly in a tub.
Low water, low maintenance is Linda's goal in her garden which is watered only to get plants established.
I don't remember a ladybug on a cactus before.
Wildlife appreciate special touches for their benefit.
Linda with her bounty of Meyer Lemons which she gives as gifts to family and friends when she visits New York in winter.
Linda is planning to open her garden for a future Watersaver Landscape Tour. Since we live in the same part of town, she's convinced me to open my garden on the same day. We're not committing to a date yet, but stay tuned.
Thank you Linda and Alan for a fun tour of your garden!