Thanks to Pam @ Digging for hosting “Support your Local Independent Nursery Month” during October. Check her site for links to all the great posts about the plethora of wonderful locally-owned nurseries in Austin and surrounding areas.
Today the Texas Climate Control Center issued, what is for me, the nail in the coffin on my Life as a Gardener in Texas. I quote from the Austin American Statesman:
“The current drought that has been called the state’s worst one-year drought on record could be just the start of dry spell that could last until 2020, the Texas state climatologist said today…Record low rainfall means the period between October and August was Austin’s driest since records started being kept more than a century ago…Meteorologists predicted dry conditions to last from a La Niña system returning in 2012 and dry conditions lasting long-term beyond the next decade.”
I don’t have the persistence, fortitude, time and money that it will take to remain a “gardener” in Austin anymore with those dire predictions of drought. However, I still want my yard to look interesting and pretty. Making use of my number-one-passion of interior design and architecture, I’m planning to slowly remove planting beds and replace them with decorative outdoor hardscape, garden art, and who knows what else.
I say “slowly” because I”m on a limited budget, and because good design is something I DO have patience for. I enjoy the hunt for something unique, the recycling process of a great find at a garage sale, and the prowl for ideas at our local nurseries. In that vein, my approach to “Support Your Local Nursery Month” is to showcase some of the outdoor decorative ideas they each provide. There’s much more than plants at these wonderful nurseries!
My first stop was at Barton Springs Nursery, 3601 Bee Cave RD. Since I’ve lived and worked near this area for over a decade, I’ve made innumerable trips here. It’s one of my “go to” place for plants, decorative pieces, dirt, mulch, compost and just asking questions from the helpful and knowledgeable staff. My friends who know me well have purchased Gift Certificates from here for my birthday presents. Needless to say, they were some of my favorite gifts!
These large painted metal “plants” could really be cute as a focal point set along a pathway. Talk about drought, freeze and heat tolerant! This could help create that tropical feel that I enjoy.
These oversized pots would work well with the metal plant sculptures above to create a gorgeous vignette that needs no further care. If I wanted, I could put some succulents or grasses in the pots that need very little attention. Plants would soften the edges and help tie the vignette together, but since I’m wanting much less maintenance, I might consider something else. I’ll keep my eyes open for ideas.
This outdoor lantern may have just gone on my “must have” list! Look at that wonderful shape and color. Oh, I think these photo trips are going to be dangerous for my pocketbook as I intentionally investigate garden decor at each nursery.
These elegant Aqua (my color!) trellises would continue that great Shabby Chic/French theme that I enjoy. These are so decorative I could put one on the fence and it wouldn’t matter if it had a plant on it or not. Several together could be used to define an area or create a backdrop. I’ll have to decide if I’m going Tropical or Shabby? Perhaps vignettes in different parts of the yard could have different attitudes.
These gorgeous outdoor rugs are already on my Must Have list, since I already purchased one from Barton Springs Nursery last year. It defines my outdoor seating area in the perfect way, and after The Hottest Summer in the History in the United States in all of Recorded Time Without a Drop of Rain, it still looks like new. (It was shaded under a gazebo, but left out in the weather completely.) I’m very happy with it and it’s one of my favorite purchases. They are very reasonably priced, too.
If you’re a UT fan or have a native garden filled with grasses, agaves and other southwestern style plants, these cuties would fit right in. I really love them as a herd. I could imagine them by a pool, or creating a focal point across a lawn to define a corner.
Support your local independently owned nursery this month and all through the fall. This is the time for creating your beds, hardscaping, and amending soil. Talk to them about ideas for tough plants, and new paradigms for your yard.