Recently I visited a garden in Eden, Texas, with a gardening class. Eden is between Brady and San Angelo and has a population of just over 93,000. That fact is a total surprise because we only made this one stop and drove on through it. I thought it was probably smaller than that.
Here is a description of the town from their website:
“Founded in 1882, Eden is located at the intersection of US Hwy 87 & 83 where the Texas Hill Country and the rolling farmland of the southeastern extremes of the Permian Basin merge.
Eden is a scenic transition of cattle, sheep, and goat country, cotton fields, forage crops, oil and gas wells and some of the best hunting to be found in Texas.”
This public garden used to be an abandoned lot that attracted drug dealers.
A few people proposed the idea of a garden. One man made it happen and continues to maintain it, mostly alone.
He is a landscaper, and his skills show in the garden. This rustic water feature used a cattle water trough, rocks, posts, and an old milk can.
It was a surprise to see Moon Flower there. I don’t see it in many gardens.
They are considered night bloomers. I think this one is in the Datura species.
The sun makes this grass pop.
This Asparagus plant was new to me. Makes me want to try it.
This gardener used lots of the same flowers scattered throughout the area. He also wisely used reliable plants. This is Esperanza (Tecoma stans).
Surprises around every corner.
Lantanas do extremely well in dry hot areas. This New Gold Lantana (Lantana x hybrida ‘New Gold’) is an example of the spreading branches of Lantanas.
His use of native stones enhanced the garden. Especially liked the benches near the walkways.
A migrating Monarch butterfly enjoying Lil Miss Lantana.
Native wild Morning Glories. They can be seen on barbed wire fences all across the central part of Texas.
A nice job of mixing cacti and agaves with other plants.
Another technique used was the placement of plants with the same colors together to create a large sweep of color.
Duranta (Duranta erecta) is one of my favorite bushes. This picture doesn’t do it justice. For a better one, see other posts.
Cross Vine (Bignonia capreolata) is a popular vine that grows to massive sizes. I’m not sure what the plan is for this one’s future – maybe to allow it to cover that rock structure.
The achievement of lush looking plantings can be difficult using our native plants. But it’s possible by filling in with softer plants like this Dusty Miller or Artemesia.
The garden is on the highway, but it’s winding paths through tall bushes allows one to feel lost in a secretive place.
Blue Potato Bush (Lycianthes rantonnei) is also known as Paraguay Nightshade. It’s an evergreen that blooms repeatedly.
The flowers resemble those of Mexican Petunias.
A walk though arch was covered with this Coral Honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens). The vine itself looked pretty sad, but a few flowers still showed their stuff.
The shadows of these cacti create more interest than if they had been planted in the middle of other plants.
An impressive garden, especially since it’s the work of one man who works as a volunteer and in his spare time. Sometimes the people in a community aren’t aware of the gift of time by some of their citizens. Thanks to volunteers everywhere.
“When we stand back to consider the premise – that God owes us a good life – it is clearly unwarranted. If there really is an infinitely glorious God, why should the universe revolve around us rather than around him?” Tim Keller