Landscaping in gravel ...

roselee z8b S.W. TexasJuly 11, 2010

Not much going on in the gallery right now so thought I'd show you what I've been up to.

A few years ago the 'mulch guy' and I decided to remove the water and mowing problem in the front yard and we've been very happy with that decision.

However, ever since the deer got the munchies and I had to move the roses and other 'deer dessert' the front has looked a little plain jane. Then yesterday I got a bee in my bonnet to brighten things up a bit with the exquisite smaller varieties of agaves (thanks Patty) and other dry climate plants and started collecting during the drought of '08 when thinking I needed to downsize the garden to ONLY drought tolerant plants, VERY drought tolerant plants ... LOL. Well, you all know how long THAT lasted.

Anyway here's the first cut:

Maybe it's not what a landscape designer would do, but it is what a plant collector does ... LOL. Besides, the agaves; which I dearly love, were getting lost among all the foliage in the back yard.

I painted the rims of the clay pots to give some color. Kinda' quaint, don't cha' think?

All that's needed now is one of those turned over pots of flowers like Shirley showed us.

Hope it gives you all some ideas and courage to be brave in your own garden. Play around with it and do what you want to :-)

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Now, why didn't we think of that before ???

looking good, R !

what is the Easter Island type thing at the bottom right of the picture, to the left of the three round pots ?


    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 8:39PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Hey, that rock does look sort of Easter Island like! It's just a large smooth stone sat on end. Hmmm, wonder if I could enhance that look somehow.

Yeah, why didn't we think of doing this before? Funny how an idea comes from out of the blue sometimes and you think, "Why not?"

I once read an interview with a centenarian and one thing they said that stuck with me is they had no regrets about anything they ever did, as long as it was legal and moral. They only regretted what they hadn't been bold enough to do.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2010 at 10:39PM
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Nice, Roselee. It's also nice that you could change the arrangement relatively easy if you want to. I would place the pots closer, kinda wrapping around the bird bath to create a focal point. Just an idea if you ever want to change it.

I happen to have a rooted start of aloe "Pink blush" available if you want it. Just let me know.

Here is a link that might be useful: A.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 12:12AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Omar, that's a great design idea! When I get tired of this arrangement (AND my back recovers ... lol) I'll give it a whirl.

Oh my gosh, I sure DO want a start of Pink Blush aloe. I never heard of it before. Save it for me! I love aloes.

Thank you!

Here is a link that might be useful: Pink Blush and more ....

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 12:55AM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Here's another picture of the area.

Omar, that's the tropical turks cap you gave me in the green rimmed pot which you see in foreground on the right. I just love it!! It is so graceful, plus off and on it blooms these wonderful large droopy bright red flowers ....

For the other side of the yard my neighbor Georgeanne helped me drag the trifoliate orange tree from the back yard where it didn't have a good place to show off it's twisty green stems and long hooked thorns. They really show up to an advantage when it is leafless. It usually produces bright orange fruit, but guess the freeze got them last winter ...

Patty's comment made me think of this stone 'art work' that my former neighbor and good friend Shirley W. gave me so I moved it to the front this morning. It must weigh 500 lbs.! (Amazing what a woman with a will and a dolly can do ...LOL) Shirley bought it at a yard sale for $3.00, can you believe?

I also moved the pineapply relative with the long stickery ribbon folliage. It has long spiky pink blooms in the spring. Neither of these were showing up much where they were ...

If anyone has any suggestions about how this might look better please pass them along. I know some of the pots need leveling. Can't stand an off angle pot :-)

And please folks, I would LOVE to see what your present summer projects are, other than staying out of the heat! LOL

Fasten an ice filled pillow slip around your neck with a rubber band and get outside. You'll be amazed how cool it is!

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 1:06PM
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I think I need to bring you some more potted plants ! Too much gravel showing !

Now that the stone art work is in the front yard, it may just have to disappear one evening ! I LOVE that piece -- and just can't believe she got it for $3 !!!

You'll get a much bigger show if you put the turk's cap in the ground. They're gorgeous when the blooms are all over a 7 - foot bush !

    Bookmark   July 12, 2010 at 1:34PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

You're off to a great start. Gravel gardening is a lot of work up front, but we really like the low maintenance.

It definitely needs one of those flat sided pots. :-) I found mine at the place along I-10 in Boerne on the eastbound access road across from Catrina's, they had a 20% off sale going last week.

Some ideas I see. Add plants or larger rocks around the base of the birdbath and try grouping the three small round pots with a larger pot like that great strawberry pot.

Here's the latest from my garden today

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 2:35PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I love those ideas Shirley. The birdbath definitely needs something around it! Like Omar says the nice thing about pots is they can be moved around. And yes a focal point for the three small pot would good.

Thanks for the tip on the flower pot place too!

Love your photo and would love to see even more pictures from your place for inspiration :-)

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 3:41PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

About that great tip...

I have to say I don't remember seeing any of the flat sided pots when we were there this time but I wasn't looking for them. They had some nice Talavera and quite a few clay pots of various sizes, but the inventory of garden stuff was low compared to other trips there. Their prices are really good if they have what you're looking for.

I'm going through my albums and will post work in progress on a new thread so stay tuned.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2010 at 5:11PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Another idea if you want to go more formal with it. Divide the area into sections with pavers or stepping stones and group the containers within the sections. Create a centerpiece with the birdbath and plant liriope or other edging plants to define the spaces and add some plants in the ground to tie it together. This would be a lot more work of course but it would really help keep it organized.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 7:56PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Shirley, those are great design ideas! I have lirope, including the giant, in several places so could easily transplant it.

I just had a thought -- lirope would look nice around the bird bath and would get watered when the bird bath gets refilled.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 10:54PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Liriope would be great around the birdbath base. It looks like the bed is curved, so three sections with radial lines out from the birdbath could work.

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 12:02PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Thanks for another good idea. Letting all these ideas 'cook' and will see what comes out of the 'stew pot' ... so to speak :-)

    Bookmark   July 15, 2010 at 2:00PM
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bobbi_p(z8/9 Cypress, TX)

I'm not sure I've seen your front yard before. It's striking the difference in styles between front and back! Kind of fun how you can do that though, huh? I don't think my HOA has any idea what I've got going on in the back yard!

The only specific comment I have is that the bird bath seems to be all by itself in that photo. I, personally, would probably group a few smaller planters at its base... But to each their own!

I've given a talk on container gardening a few times in the past and one point I try to make is that if the plants you want to put together don't have the same water requirements, you can always put them in different pots and unite them as a grouping by having the same color or style of pots artistically arranged. Of course that's a point I make for container gardening, not necessarily landscape design as you're doing...

Here are a few photos I've used in my talks. I'm not saying any of these would necessarily work for you, but thought they might provide some stepping off point in that amazing artistic mind of yours!

Same glaze on the pots, various sizes, all of various spring bulbs (Wisley Gardens, March '08):

Nearly identical pots with extremely varied cacti (Marrakech rooftop garden, December '07):

Single pot used as a focal point with some sort of agave in it (Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech, December '07):

Groupings of pots along a curved path with varied plant material, but with finish on pots repeating along the path (Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech, December '07):

Same sorts of pots displayed along a straight path (Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech, December '07):

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 6:25PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Great pictures. Love those examples of what can be done with containers.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2010 at 10:38PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Just now got back in town and saw these great photos of containers. My heart is beating faster ... lol. Love them. Love the arrangements and the colors. That's a bold color to paint the sidewalk, but I like it. Incidentally, I read once that in Florida people paint their concrete driveways. Anybody ever seen that?

Yes, there's a lot of difference between my front and the back yards. I stopped concentrating on the front when the deer invaded. I used to have roses inside the hedge, along the drive way and had miniature roses in the brick planter.

Shirley, I haven't had a chance to check out the pot place near Boerne yet. And if anyone else knows of a good pot place in San Antonio let me know, or if you see any pots on sale anywhere. I need something else to put around the bird bath. The agaves might get too much water when I rinse out the bird bath if I put them there.

Also was thinking it would be nice to find a Mexican pot place on the south side of San Antonio, or at a flea mkt. The prices are usually better at those places.

Bobbi, thanks again for all the great pot pictures! If you or anyone else has more pictures or good links featuring landscaping with containers you are more than welcome to post them :-)

Thanks to you all I have more great ideas of how and where to use pots. Now to implement them! Thank you!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 2:25PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

I haven't been home from a little trip two hours and I'm already moving pots around. You all are right about the bird bath looking empty sitting out there all by itself and I thought about these fantail pigeon pots in my back yard that just were not in a place to show off so I loaded them on the dolly and pulled them around front.

I don't know if they will stay this way, but how do they look for a 'first cut'?

They need some antiquing touch-ups so they will match. I also put the big pot of cactus on a wrought iron base. I have not given up on the lirope idea, but thought I'd try these since I had them already.

Also did a google search for Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech and found some wonderful pictures including these YouTube videos. What a gorgeous place!

Here is a link that might be useful: Majorelle Gardens, Marrakech, Morocco

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 8:43PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Thanks Roselee, I really loved those views of Majorelle. Those colors are amazing!

The pots moved around the birdbath do look good and the general concept is a great idea. Like all gardens it'll take some time to fill it in.

The only other pottery places I've checked out are more expensive than the one in Boerne. I have heard there are some pottery vendors at Bussey's in Shertz and I've seen a place along 35 toward San Marcos on the north bound side but haven't had a chance to stop.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 9:59PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Thanks Shirley. 'Filling in' is right. I just moved a big pot full of giant lirope from the back yard and placed it behind the bird bath. It looks a LOT more filled in. Plus I'm thinking one of the low oblong clay pots that I have might look better in front than the three little doopy pots, maybe with asparagus fern in it. (All these things will be evergreen.) I am hoping to find another one like those so I won't have to move one of them. I'm eager to check out the pot place near Boerne, and will watch for the one on 35 next time we go to Austin.

I also have a huge pot of giant lirope, it stands about 3 1/2 to 4 ft tall, lirope and all, that I may move to the front to bring it all together and make it all look more 'mature'.

Sorry to take up so much space with my front yard experiment, but I DO so value you all's feedback :-)

Thank you.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 10:15PM
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bobbi_p(z8/9 Cypress, TX)

Now your birdbath doesn't look lonely! Of course, the portability of container gardening is one of it's great benefits. If you don't like the look, move it. If the plant doesn't like the location, move it...

Be careful out there, my back already hurts from just thinking about you moving all those around!

Like I said, with your artistic flair, can't wait to see how it evolves!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 11:37PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Wow it seems you already have an endless supply of pots! Giant Liriope in pots sounds great. That really saves having to dig which is not an easy task around here.

It's a fun project and I enjoy watching.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 12:11PM
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It looks better, Roselee! Good job!!


    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 1:17PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Thank you all for bearing with me, looking, and making suggestions on my three day project of moving stuff from the back yard to landscape with in the front.

There is still more things to do such as stain the wrought iron stand that the cactus pot is on, put plants in all the pots, buy a low wide bowl shaped pot (have one in the back but it is too old to move) or a laying on it's side pot to put eye popping fuscia colored vinca in, need to trim the hedge, etc.

I guess the most amazing thing to me is that all this came out of the back yard, and yet nothing seems to be missing back there ... LOL

Here's the birdbath with 'birds', so to speak, the little dove pot and the pigeon pots. The pot of lirope is actually directly behind the birdbath, but the photo was taken at an angle. Should the little pots be antiqued to match or not? ...

This isn't the big pot of lirope I thought I was going to use, but is a prettier pot and was not showing off by the side gate anyway ...

Here is an overview looking towards our home ...

View along the sidewalk. They are hard to see but some pots were added at the far end ...

This is one of the pots with a darling little cactus that Patty gave me. (I do have the name of it somewhere :-) I love the little hairy wandering jew. It blooms nicely and is not invasive. I picked a tiny piece from a filling station planting years ago and now have it all over. Also I just received three VERY unusual plants in the mail from Omar that I can hardly wait to see grow up :-) ...

A mixed planting in a concrete pot ...

Again, thanks for looking and making suggestions for moving, adding or changing things. All will be very happily considered.

This link is going to make my place look bad ;-) but it's a really interesting video about the history of the Majorelle Gardens in Marrakesh. Enjoy!

Here is a link that might be useful: Explosions in blue at Majorelle, plus ...

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 9:55PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

May I suggest that you watch the video linked above on full screen and then go on to the next garden suggested. It is about Argentina.

Omar, aren't you from Argentina originally? It's beautiful!

There is a series of several videos and a book, "Around the World in 80 Gardens" by the garden guide, Henk Schultz.

I like what he said in one of them, "Essentially gardens are not about plants at all. They are about people." Amen!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2010 at 10:30PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

That's really looking good. I would only antique the little bird to match.

The reason I went out to the pottery place in Boerne was to find a large bowl planter and they didn't have anything close. Planters seem a bit expensive at the garden centers, but I'll keep looking.

Those videos are beautiful.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2010 at 6:58PM
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re: mixed planting in concrete pot....

did you always have it this way ? Or did things just start growing there ?

looks good, R. Glad that you're putting all the little plants to work !


    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 8:12PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

Patty, I have a plastic pot inside the concrete planter so I can bring it in for the winter, and you might remember I had crotons from Lowes sale table in their for the last couple of years along with some other things. Surprisingly the crotons took the sun beautifully plus the deer don't eat them, but they didn't make it through last winter in the green house. So this spring I threw in some chocolate plants and the euphorbia. The voodoo lily must have been in the soil I reused and came up on its own, but was welcomed.

Yeah, put those plants to work! I'll be tweeking things for now on as we do with everything in our gardens, but I'm really glad I moved those things out there.

Shirley, I got directions to the pot place from a friend who lives in Boerne. It's called "ArtesanoƂs" 830-249-9994. Thanks for the update on what they didn't have, but would still like to check it out.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2010 at 9:06PM
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