Garden ideas for Central Texas (and beyond)

rock_oak_deer(8b TX)November 9, 2012

Over the weekend I toured a number of wonderful gardens in Austin.

Many of them had great ideas for Hill Country style gardens. The one I'm linking is especially helpful for those of us with rocky slopes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ten Eyck garden tour

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What a great post. I like how a lot of it seems so doable from an upkeep point. I really like her steel steps - I'll have to look at her blog to see if she covers how they are fabricated and installed.

Thanks for the link Shirley - Lisa

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 7:35AM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

Thanks Lisa, the front yard did seem attainable for the average homeowner. That type of steel edging is tough to duplicate at home because it is expensive and requires a specialist to design and install. The welds have to be invisible for example.

After the steel structure was in place they filled it with "road base" which is a type of stone/gravel dust mix, packed it down and then put the pea gravel on top.

My own experience is that pea gravel is not a good idea because it scatters when you walk on it and that's a hazard for steps. The decomposed granite in the front yard seemed to work better but it does attract weeds.

I use large flat stones to create steps and terraces in my yard although I might try using scrap metal some places for a similar but more rustic look.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 10:33AM
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Oh, I see. That makes a lot more sense to me. You'd have to put something underneath the gravel to give more stability. I wonder if the road base is what they've started using out at Government Canyon in the front country on some of the trails? I'll have to ask next time I'm out there.

There are beds I'd like to use some some type of gravel/rock combo, but I hesitate because of the weed issue. I'm still figuring out the best approach to that.

Thanks again - Lisa

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 11:38AM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

It is a problem, things sprout and grow through the gravel. You can plant things close in the beds to crowd out weeds but the pathways are still a problem.

I use gravel in hot, sunny areas and mulch in the shade for this reason.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 1:16PM
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roselee z8b S.W. Texas

The metal looks great for steps, but if that can't be managed then consider cedar logs which have been used to make steps in a similar manner. The ones leading down to the Rio Frio at the River Haven cabins in Leaky have lasted for years.

Lisa, I don't have a lot of problems with weeds coming up in the gravel. It helps to have weed block under the gravel, but then maybe it's also because I'm always outside and pull little weeds as soon as they show their heads. Also you can scatter a little pre-emergent weed killer a couple of times a year to prevent a lot of the weeds from germinating.

Shirley, I loved seeing your pictures of this garden!

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 2:07PM
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What a pretty landscape. It all looks so natural. What was the ivy growing on the fence - in that one enclosed area?

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 4:53PM
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rock_oak_deer(8b TX)

That is fig ivy, it's borderline hardy in Austin though sometimes comes back from the roots. So if you get a big freeze it would die and you have to pull down the dead pieces and start over. (Been there, done that)

Some kind of weedblock or underlayment is important when putting gravel down to keep the gravel from sinking into the ground as well as keeping weeds out.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2012 at 5:53PM
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