This is a posting of an article that appeared in Avery Ranch Living Magazine which reflects the reason we love our xeriphytic yard, five years after its construction.
We are in our mid 70’s, retired, and have created a totally xeriphytic yard that we constructed in fall and winter of 2011. Lana did the design and Bob contributed his knowledge of plants. Five years later, we are enjoying the results of that hard work. It is truly a dream garden in every sense. It requires little to no watering, no chemical fertilizers or pesticides, relatively less maintenance, attracts wildlife of all sorts (birds, butterflies, amphibians, mammals, and beneficial insects such as honeybees). We use native and adaptive, durable and hardy plants to provide a variety of color and textures for all seasons. We have received the City of Austin Green Garden Award, and have been certified by the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife as a certified backyard habitat which is important since subdivision development is destroying natural habitat for wildlife at an significant rate.
We enjoy sitting on our backyard deck which gives us a 180 degree view of it all. We love to see and hear the purple martins in spring, followed by migratory and local birds feeding from our feeder or bathing in our bird bath. butterflies and hummingbirds abounded in our garden this past fall. Our selection of native plants is intended to draw all types of wildlife.
Our garden (defined as the entire yard), has been featured on Austin’s PBS station, KLRU’s Central Texas Gardener. The producer called it “cohesive diversity”, a garden with a large variety of plants but structured within a planned design. There are areas of the garden that reflect themes such as compatible plant groupings, regional look, etc., plus a 360 degree natural pathway around the house to walk and enjoy the entire yard. We have a hobby greenhouse that allows us to enjoy tropical and tender plants from spring to fall by safely over-wintering them.
We change out some of our plantings each year to avoid having a static garden and provide new growing experiences. This often happens when unexpected hard freezes damage or kill some plantings, which is a good excuse to find something different to try. We seek some diversity year to year within the design structure.
We have tried to make our garden reflect “Central Texas” through use of natural, local materials as well. We love to help other gardeners through sharing of our experiences. Our website at www.centraltexasgardening.info , and our Blog at www.centraltexasgardening.wordpress.com are a means to do this. We also have a Facebook page “The Xeriphytic Yard” to further share our love of gardening.
We like to think of our yard as an incentive to draw us beyond the walls of our home into the beauty of nature. Gotta smell the roses! Make your yard a source of joy every day of the year