Monday, June 3, 2013


Purslane. Impossible to kill--even in Texas.
Until I met my husband and we moved into a house, I had always lived in apartments in the city, so I am a gardening novice. Gardening for me is really more like "Exterior Design." One of the most painful things about gardening, for an impatient person such as myself, is that it takes TIME. I want to swoop in, plant a bunch of stuff and have it look like Tim Burton's Wonderland overnight. 
I'm learning that it takes a few years for your plants to really flourish and that to create a full, lush, backyard haven, you really have to continue to layer and build on what you have each year--it is not unlike Interior Design in this way. 

When we moved into this rental, Texas was having a very good year for rain. Our grass was thick and lush, and our yard had minimal plantings. 

We added a few herbs here and there and I started a little "tree garden" with pots and pretties, as it is a direct vista from our sun room and living/dining room. 

Cuz Texas Squrrels get HOT! We named him hot-tubbin Jo. 

That first year in Austin, we had no idea how brutal the Texas summers can be and about half way through the summer we just gave up watering and hid in the house. In my defense, I was hugely prego and working full time. 

The next year, was one of the worst droughts in Texas history. We had over 100 days over 100 degrees and almost no rain..for months. We lost all of our plants, and most of the grass. Our landlord had to have several trees removed, there were burn bans and water shortages...not a garden year. We backtracked. 

We built a "cabana" out of Home Depot timber and reclaimed wood for a little outdoor respite. We strung a canvas awning over the top. We also added a row of pavers, as our "patio" consisted of a pathetic ledge in which to kick your shoes off as you went back in side. The Man also made several raised boxes out of scrap wood we pillaged from a demolition across the street. 

Finally last year, a few survivors emerged, we got a little better at watering, and we started investing in a few perrenials. We added a solid roof to the cabana and hung some bamboo to cover up all the uggo cords and utility on the back of the house. We bought a Mandevilla plant that climbs up the post and is nothing short of spectacular every year. 

Thai basil is yummy.
The Man got serious with his building and made us this awesome bench (again..all found wood) and we made a little sandbox for the Rube-ster. 

This year, we added more perennials  ditched the veggies, and planted tons of herbs. We added another row of pavers to the patio and a brick path to the grill where we were wearing down the grass. Our garden is looking borderline respectable and we've had great rain this spring. The grass is the healthiest its been since the year we moved in. The morning glories didn't thrive like they did last year on the fence, so my DIY diagonal "twine trellis" is lacking. Maybe next year?

My mom always used to make me go on a tour of the garden when I came over. I get it now. You have to share the growth and development and people need to RECK-A-NIZE. You get excited when a plant you worked so hard to keep alive finally has one perfect bloom or the succulents in your pots make little cactus babies. aww. 
I can't wait until we have our own land someday and I can get SER.I.OUS. with my plantings, landscaping, and designing. My pinterest board is already exploding with must-do's. 

Whenever we break a pretty flower pot, we arrange the little pieces in the tree garden for a little prettiness. 

 The border consists of driftwood from the creek and weird brush that we pick up on stroller walks. 

My best helper is also my best hinder-er, but curly-haired babies look best in the garden.

I love her feet. 

Parsley going to seed

Hope you enjoyed the tour.. 

*all pics by me, except for "wonderland" credit

1 comment:

Sarah Greenman said...

Beautiful! That Madevilla vine is phenomenal!