Austin Gardens Tour, Part 2

The city of Austin is in the Hill Country and spreads out over cedar covered hills giving it a green vista.  The city center and original settlement is on about the only level ground.  A few of the home gardens on the tour were located there.

But the newer houses and most expensive real estate is on the hills on the outer edges of the city.  Those sites make challenging landscaping for home owners.  This post shows plants from three of those gardens.

austingardenspThis home had a mostly shady garden in an area that hugged the house.   The rest of the land sloped down to a dry creek bed.

This Black and Blue Salvia (Salvia guarantica) grows in shade here with dapples of sunlight.  But most salvia will also do well in sun.

austingardensqStairs led up to the swimming pool on a raised area where the back door to the home was located.  There were palms at several of the homes, but I don’t know what kind of palms.

austingardensrThe lights on the bottle bush was a nice touch.

austingardenssTo the right is the raised area.  Steps led down to another small garden area.  The orange flowers look like Crossvine.

austingardenst This Mexico native is a good low water plant but won’t survive our winters.

austingardensuThe previous yard and this one were both professionally landscaped.

austingardensvThe main feature of this yard was the stunning view.   Behind me as I take this picture is a large grassy lawn.

austingardenswThis last yard was very nicely laid out.  Oak Leaf Acanthus (Acanthus mollis) is a new plant to me.  Information on the net states that  stiff, spiky tubular-shaped flowers emerge from the center of the plant.  Flowers can be white, lilac or rose in color. If this plant is in a hot climate, it needs afternoon shade.  That would be Texas.  It prefers moist soils but will tolerate drier soil.

austingardensxI think this pretty purple plant is Persian Spears.

austingardensyAlthough I’m not especially drawn to agaves, I like Queen Victoria Century Plant (Agave victoriae-reginae). It’s not winter hardy here, but I could probably try it in a container.

austingardenvvWingpod Pursulane (Portulaca umbraticola) is a US native  succulent.  This gardener did a nice job of landscaping with several beds outlined with different materials.  You can see a back row of bricks and a side wood border.

austingardenszThere is a wild one aggressive purslane that comes up in my flowerbeds.  Maybe that’s why it is in a contained area in this garden.

austingardenwwNot sure which sage this is.

austingardenxxIn the bright light behind the kneeling girl is a Shrimp Plant with yellow blooms.  It’s a native of Mexico and does very well in zones 8 and above.

austingardenzzLike the clean, fresh color of this Coleus.

austingardenzzzThis cluster of Plumbago plants (Plumbago auriculata) was in the yard beside the featured garden we were visiting.  Very attractive planting.

That’s the last of the Austin gardens.  There were a nice variety of gardens – shady, sunny, all native, more formal, or less formal natural settings. There was only one garden that I feel should not have been on the tour.  It was sadly neglected.  The reason I mention this is because the houses were scattered all over Austin and required a lot of driving.  So a stop that wasn’t worth the time or gas should not have been included.  Otherwise, it was a worthwhile tour.

“Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas.”   Elizabeth Murray