Tag Archive for: Creeping Fig

English gardens

I love English gardens with their lush greenery, colorful blooms, and somewhat untidy appearance, which may be due to my partial English ancestry. While I don’t make it to the British Isles as much as I’d like, there are lovely examples to be found in the U.S. Earlier this month, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit an English garden with Texas flair.

Earlier this month, I was in Austin for the Garden Bloggers Fling, which is an annual gathering of garden bloggers that is held in a different city each year. As you might expect, touring gardens is the focus of the Fling and I couldn’t wait to explore the gardens of this area, largely because we can grow many of the same types of plants in Arizona.

I woke up, excited for our first day of touring, only to be greeted by torrential rain. However, I was undeterred – equipped with my rain poncho and umbrella, 3.5 inches of rain wasn’t going to get in my way of seeing beautiful gardens.

The garden of Jenny Stocker

The garden of Jenny Stocker, who blogs at Rock Rose, was my favorite destination of the day. She describes her garden as an “arts and crafts Texas-style garden with an English theme”. Her landscape is broken up into ‘rooms’ with many areas surrounded by walls that frame each room while keeping deer away. Doorways provide a tantalizing glimpse into the next room, encouraging visitors to embark on a journey of discovery.

An English Garden With Texas Flair

A dry creek bed meanders through this garden room where it is surrounded by both native and adapted plants that thrive despite a thin layer of soil that lies over rock.

foxglove

Plants, like this foxglove, droop gracefully under the continuing rainfall and with every step through the garden, my feet were squishing in my wet shoes, but it was easy to ignore the discomfort with all the beauty surrounding me.

An English Garden With Texas Flair

A small water feature, complete with water plants and a fish, create a welcome focal point.

 brugmansia and golden barrel cactuses

Potted plants like this potted brugmansia and golden barrel cactuses add visual interest to an alcove. Did you know that golden barrel cactus are native to Texas and Mexico? Many of the plants we grow in Arizona come from these regions.

creeping fig

An angelic face peeks out from a wall of creeping fig, which grows well in the desert garden in shady locations with adequate water.

pot spills water into the pool

An overturned pot spills water into the pool, providing the lovely sound of water while creating a lovely focal point.

swimming pool

The swimming pool was unique in that it looked like a water feature with the surrounding flowering plants, many of which, are allowed to self-seed.

This was my favorite garden room, so I took a video so you can get an overview of the beauty of this area.

An English Garden With Texas Flair

In another area of the garden, raised beds were filled with edible plants. In between the beds, were flowering plants that create a welcome softness and attract pollinators, which in turn, benefit the vegetables.

Verbena bonariensis

Lovely Verbena bonariensis decorated the edible garden with their delicate purple blossoms.

'Blue Elf' aloes

Jenny makes great use of grouping potted plants together on steps and I recognized ‘Blue Elf’ aloes in a few of the containers, which is one of my favorite aloes that I use in designs.

An English Garden With Texas Flair

Stacked stone forms a raised bed that surrounds the circular wall of this garden room where a bird bath serves as a focal point.

An English Garden With Texas Flair

Decorative animals were tucked into different spots, just waiting to be discovered by garden visitors, like this quail family.

Mexican feather grass

Here is a great whimsical element that I enjoyed where Mexican feather grass was used to mimick the movement of water for stone fish.

spineless prickly pear

Much like desert gardens, cacti and succulents were used to create unique texture, like this spineless prickly pear (Opuntia cacanapa), which is native to Texas but also grows nicely in my Arizona garden.

artichoke agave

The blue-gray color and spiky texture of artichoke agave, contrasts beautifully with the softer textures of lush green perennials.

Texas-English garden

As we got ready to bid adieu to this Texas-English garden, I walked by an opening in a garden wall where a single agave stood sentinel and was struck by how a single plant can have a significant design impact when placed in the right spot.

This garden was a true Texas treasure and I came away in awe of its natural beauty. However, this wasn’t only the garden that inspired me – there were sixteen other gardens left to explore and I invite you to come back when I’ll profile another of my favorites. 

It’s that time of year, the weather is cooler, the trees are dressed up in their colors and people are almost ready for Halloween.  

My youngest daughter, Gracie, is going to be a ‘butterfly princess’ this year and my son Kai will be the ‘Brawny’ paper towel guy.  I bought him work boots (he loves those), a flannel shirt and of course, a package of ‘Brawny’ paper towels.

This year, we will be hosting the family Halloween night with my sister, brother and their families.  I can hardly wait.  

This post has been a huge favorite every year.  I hope you enjoy it!

*********************************

My kids, aren’t the only ones ready for Halloween.  Use your imagination and see how these plants are prepared as well…..

ready for Halloween

Octopus Agave (Agave vilmoriniana) beginning growing it’s snake-like flower stalk.

Growing up to one foot a day, like a snake coming out of the snake charmer’s basket.

ready for Halloween

Creeping Fig (Ficus pumila) climbing up the pillar and underneath….hanging down like spiderwebs.c

ready for Halloween

A Yucca reclining like a lovely lady.

But beware….she stabs you with her leaves if you get too close….

(This Yucca was trained to grow this way)

Saguaro

Saguaro (Carnegiea gigantea) dressed as a giant.

Ready for Halloween

The ‘claws’ of an Agave

Ready for Halloween

Ocotillo (Fouquierea splendens) with a Medusa hairstyle.

Euphorbia tirucalli

Sticks of Fire (Euphorbia tirucalli), will not burn you….but it is poisonous.

Acacia stenophylla

The spooky silhouette of a Shoestring Acacia (Acacia stenophylla).

You can almost hear the hooting owls…

Saguaro carnegiea

Crested Saguaro (Saguaro carnegiea)

A saguaro all dressed up with a new hairstyle.

Agave geminiflora

Twin-Flowered Agave (Agave geminiflora), sprouting horns.

And finally….

White Oleander

A beautiful White Oleander (Nerium oleander) flower lures you in with her subtle fragrance.

But Beware!  She is deadly if ingested…

I hope you enjoyed the plants in their “costumes”.

Are you or your children dressing up for Halloween this year?

What as?

I love my job…

I get to meet nice people who let me help them with their landscape.  

Usually, they want help with plant suggestions, recommended maintenance and sometimes even which plants should be removed.

Sometimes, I visit a landscape that has some features that I just love.  I would love to share some pictures of a recent visit…

date palms and gold lantana

Her back garden was simply beautiful with date palms and gold lantana.

Fun Landscape

Along the back fence, she had created a plant shelf using masonry bricks and wooden planks.

She added a some colorful pots filled with golden barrel cacti and other plants.

I just loved this idea for masking a bare wall.  

Fun Landscape

In the front courtyard, I found a great example of how to grow a plant next to a palm tree (or any kind of tree).  Often trees have too many roots that make digging next to them almost impossible.  So, this homeowner, simply planted a creeping fig in a container and placed it next to the tree.

Pedilanthus macrocarpus

Lastly, there was a container with Lady’s Slipper (Pedilanthus macrocarpus) growing inside, which softened the side of the garage.  This plant does well in full sun and likes deep, infrequent water.

In fact, I liked it so much that I went out and bought a Lady’s Slipper plant for myself 🙂