Yard prairie backyard in East Austin

April 23, 2024

A younger couple who’ve attended my Backyard Spark talks instructed me they’d drawn inspiration for his or her backyard from two audio system, prairie-garden advocate John Hart Asher and crevice gardener Coleson Bruce. Intrigued, I steered a backyard go to (i.e., invited myself over), and so they graciously agreed. So final week, I met up with Chris Vincent and Nicolas Webster of their bursting-with-wildflowers yard prairie backyard.

The backyard has zero garden aside from a small circle the place they’re establishing Habiturf for a grassy lounging spot. Paths curve invitingly round raised beds full of wildflowers, grasses, and some small native timber like desert willow. Locations embrace a hammock in a again nook, an out of doors bathe overlooking the backyard, and a hearth pit patio. It is a backyard made for outside dwelling.

Chris and Nicolas have planted many pollinator-attracting crops, like desert willow…

…and blanketflower, each Texas natives.

Blanketflower closeup

Desert willow in bloom

Nonnative however well-adapted larkspur provides fairly lavender and white spires to the combo.

Standing winecup with its magenta chalices

Frilly-petaled cornflower

American basketflower in bud

A shy black-eyed Susan amid the blanketflower

Plains coreopsis

So many beautiful reds and yellows, plus star-shaped seedpods

Arugula flowers

In a sunny spot, spineless prickly pear presides over a crevice-garden mound mulched with darkish gravel.

Lavenders and a bluebonnet recognize the sharp drainage of the crevice planting.

A bigger crevice backyard runs alongside the outside bathe, which they constructed themselves. Chris and Nicolas have been impressed by Coleson Bruce’s backyard to make their very own.

They inserted skinny slabs of limestone right into a gravelly mound, making a jagged, mountain vary profile. Between the stone, they tucked in small, dry-loving crops like woolly stemodia, a number of small agaves and yuccas, and a potted mangave (I believe ‘Praying Fingers’).

Mangave ‘Praying Fingers’ with silvery creeper woolly stemodia

Chris and Nicolas’s yard was over-paved with concrete once they moved in, together with a canine run alongside the fence. They’ve been steadily breaking all of it up and repurposing the concrete of their backyard. Damaged flat slabs work effectively for build up raised beds, and so they cleverly turned two cylindrical chunks right into a vignette with a chunk of holey limestone. The place a metallic pole was as soon as anchored within the larger chunk, they planted a sprig of Mexican feathergrass.

The couple is having fun with the extravaganza of wildflowers this spring, and so they’ve acquired some prairie grasses tucked in, able to take over in midsummer and fall when the wildflower present is over.

However what a present it has been this spring!

A blue swallowtail butterfly having fun with the habitat they’ve created

Standing winecup and blanketflower

A dwelling blanketflower bouquet

What an inviting house they’ve created for themselves and the birds, lizards, and bug pollinators they share it with.

Thanks, Nicolas and Chris, for sharing your backyard with me!

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Digging Deeper

Could 4: Discover “good backyards, good swimming pools and pergolas, and outside rooms and gardens” on the ATX Out of doors Residing Tour on 5/4, 10 am to three pm. Panorama architects, designers, and builders shall be readily available to reply questions. Tickets are $33.85 for adults, $17.85 for teenagers age 10-17.

Could 11: Tour 4 Austin gardens on 5/11, from 9 am to three pm, on the Inside Austin Gardens Tour. Every backyard “is created and cared for by a Travis County Grasp Gardener and demonstrates practical gardening practices that inform and encourage.” Tickets are $25, or free for youngsters 12 and beneath.

Could 18: On Austin House’s Nice Outdoor Tour, held 5/18 from 10 am to three pm, discover “Pinterest-worthy swimming pools and outside kitchens to considerate plantings and classy city density options.” Tickets are $30.

Could 18: Pop as much as Dallas for the 2024 DCMGA Backyard Tour on 5/18 from 10 am to five pm. Tickets are $18 if bought on-line prior to six pm on 5/17, or $22 after 6 pm on 5/17 or on the occasion. For a sneak peek, click on right here.

June 1-2: Take a self-guided, 2-day tour of ponds and gardens in and round Austin on the annual Austin Pond and Backyard Tour, held 6/1 and 6/2, 9 am to five pm. Tickets are $20 to $25.

Come find out about gardening and design at Backyard Spark! I manage in-person talks by inspiring designers, panorama architects, authors, and gardeners a number of occasions a 12 months in Austin. These are limited-attendance occasions that promote out rapidly, so be a part of the Backyard Spark electronic mail checklist to be notified prematurely; merely click on this hyperlink and ask to be added. Season 8 kicks off in fall 2024. Keep tuned for more information!

All materials © 2024 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized copy prohibited.

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