Saturday, May 11, 2013

May Garden In South Central Texas

An unexpected surprise about my involvement with Etsy, has been the making of new "friends".
It happens in different ways, each time.
Not anything that you could ever design, it just happens.
Recently, I noticed an image of a great belt buckle, featured at the top of a blog that I follow.
I wrote to congratulate the New York artist that makes the buckles.
Turns out, she didn't know about the photograph!
Her business on Etsy is decembermoondesigns.
PLEASE look at her awesome are going to want one.
A few emails later, and before you long, we were talking about our love of gardening.
My imagination started wondering what her garden looked like.
Apparently hers was also...
"What type of garden do you have", she asked.
Well, new friend, Doreen from Long Island...this post is for you!
Here is my three year old South Texas garden!
 I am full sun and alkaline and you are shade and acid.

 I couldn't grow "astilbes or hostas or blueberries or bleeding hearts", if I trucked in acid soil, because our rain passes through layers of limestone to our beautiful aquifer, where our well pumps back out...what else... hard alkaline water.

 I can cheat the system a bit though, because I am an organic gardener.
Ive built on a deep foundation of compost and mulch.
When I started this garden three years ago, I couldn't find an earth worm.
Now, every time I push my shovel into the earth, I find many.

I'm proud of the variety of plants in my garden, but I admit I am a slave to it.
It hasnt been until this year, that I have gotten some help.
I have a wonderful man that helps by cutting back last years plants and puts in them in our burn pile, so that I can concentrate on doing more of the fun stuff!
I am so thankful for his help!

 Because my soil is so great, I am growing things that you may not often see in a South Texas garden.
I am proud of my clematis and acanthus.

My roses are all antiques and they don't make the cut, unless they are repeat bloomers and fragrant.
I'm not going to spray poisons, fighting fungus.
If their ancestry doesn't have hardiness built in, they wont stay in my garden.

We aren't swimming pool people, but we do enjoy a pond.

My husband feeds our koi, nightly.
We are enjoying a balanced system that requires only an occasional emptying of the filter basket, but we haven't used any products in the water in a long time.

I have several four legged assistants.
My cat, Keaton, follows me around like a dog.
Well, until the Darcy the Doodle puppy appears, anyway.
They still have a lot to work out, towards becoming friends.

Easy plant choices for South Texas come from our neighbors to the south and west, Mexico and the desert Southwest.
Good drainage is essential.
We have mild winters.
We have some freezing nights, but the temperatures warm up quickly during the days.
Summers can be brutal.
Temperatures in the 100's are common, but what really hurts the plants are the warm night time temperatures.
When plants don't get ANY relief, they will often rest or go dormant until fall.
Sparse rains really divide out the men from the mice...I mean plants.
Many people are learning that water thirsty plants just cant be planted, anymore.
Finally, in the Hill Country where I live, whitetail deer are a challenge.
My front yard is exposed to deer, but I still have lots of deer resistent colorful plants, there.
In the back yard, I am thankful for a 6' fence.

Ive gardened in this area for 37 years.
You can make a lot of mistakes in that length of time, but you can also get some things right. Gardeners never give up!

It is my desire to provide cover and food for as many birds as possible.

We live in a terrific migratory lane way for many south/north migrating birds.
The Texas Gulf Coast, only a few hours away, attracts birdwatchers from all over the world.
Without the use of pesticides, I also enjoy attracting moths and butterflies. I'm not as name knowledgeable for them as I am my plants, but I learn new names every year!
The last two years, I didn't need to hang any hummingbird feeders, because my plants provided plenty of nectar to support a great number of birds!

Well, there you go, Doreen!
I hope that answered your questions about my garden.
You can thank me later that I didn't download all 100 pictures!

I plan on working this garden for a very long time.
Our oaks were overpowered by the juniper that we had removed.
They will continue to grow and the sunlight/shade conditions will change over the years, but I will adapt.
Gardens are an investment...mostly for therapy, physical and mental health!
You can work out a lot of issues with a shovel or sometimes just a good stroll, as you know.
I never leave the back door without a pair of scissors or my camera!
I don't go to a gym. My garden IS my gym!
But then, I m not telling you anything that you don't already know...

Now, its your turn...I would love to see what a garden in Long Island looks like!
Have fun...Laura


  1. When I'm asked how I spent my Mothers Day, I will say "This morning, I took a walk with a new friend, through her beautiful Texas garden!"

    What a wonderful way to start the day:)

    I'm inspired.
    Thank you...Doreen

  2. Well, there you go! I just learned that you are a mom! Happy Mothers day to you, and I'm glad you enjoyed the post!

  3. Not sure how you have all the energy for that but it looks great this year! Keep it up.

  4. You know I taught you...sleeps, creeps, leaps? Well, this year was LEAPS:)
    Miss your strong back!
    Check back with the garden in August when we have had no rain, and a stretch of 100's!
    You know the drill...
    Thanks for the thumbs up, son!