Silver Lining


I can’t remember ever seeing autumn color like we have had this year in Central Texas, especially in the city limits. This is a Sumac tree directly across the street from me, and I watched it change from a brilliant gold to this incredible combo display of orange and yellow. I suppose the drought and heat must have created this phenomenon, so I’m taking pictures of it because I really don’t want to go through what we went through ever again, even it means this kind of autumn colors. It has been a stunning display, though.


And I completely forgot to put this into my blog previously. I received an awesome birthday present from my SO in October! This is a gazebo I had my eye on all summer long at Breed and Co. Hardware, and was hoping for an end of season sale. At last, I was rewarded with a sale price (not a huge one), and a fabulous birthday gift. Its hexagonal shape fits my space perfectly, as does the diminutive size. I put a chandelier in the peak of the beautiful arch (which you can’t see in this picture) and we’ve had some lovely dinners out there, as well as a glass of wine as the sun set. It really made a big difference to have a shaded area to sit in, even if it is after dark. It creates a coziness that just wasn’t happening before.


I had this indoor chandelier that I immediately decided was really an outdoor chandelier, it just didn’t know it yet. It looks fabulous inside the little gazebo, and the low watt bulbs at night are just outrageously sweet. The tenting of the top of the gazebo glows, and underneath, a warm inviting dim light beckons. Once it warms up again, I’ll get a nighttime shot of my yard for you. With this chandelier on, and the lights on my waterfall and in the oak trees, it’s really pretty.


And lastly, look at this treasure! I asked my dad, before he came to town for Thanksgiving, if he had any old horse feeders or water troughs that he no longer needed on his farm. He thought he might, and when he and his wife arrived on Turkey Day, this was the primary thing in the back of the vehicle! Isn’t it gorgeous? He kept suggesting ways that I could paint it, or straighten it out and make it look new again, and I kept having to insist that I wanted it exactly as is. I don’t think he really understood that, but he was happy that I was happy.


Right now it is in a pretty shady spot; even though it looks good against the fence there (I’m adding a bed along that fence line and it would be inside the bed), I may need to move it so I can fill it with plants that like a little bit of sun. What can you envision in it?

By the way, I know Pam/Digging mentions Callahan Hardware for her troughs; I’ve also seen them at Zinger Hardware on Anderson Lane for a place a bit closer to drive to than Callahans.


7 thoughts on “Silver Lining

  1. Hi Robin.

    Amazing color on the Sumac tree!
    This year has been a tough one, and this cold snap will
    push most of the central Texas area over the edge into full-on winter.
    I bet there will be few leaves left on the trees after this one. It has
    been an amazing fall for color though.
    I love the trough your dad gave you, I have four feeder tanks from Callahans and I agree, the older they get the better they look. What to put in it? How about a diversity of succulents, echeverias and sedums. Check out this dragon scale planting I did this year…
    It would compliment the rust coloration of your tank, and take care of the dry conditions these tanks always create in our Summer heat. Just a thought!


    Oh, that’s a good idea! When I went to the recent Garden Tour, I was so impressed by the succulents that grew so large in the large containers – right now all of mine are in small pots and can’t get that dramatic size. Thanks! Robin

  2. Congrats on owning a wonderful, weathered stock tank. I’m sure you’ll have as much fun with it as I do with mine. Thanks for the tip about finding them at Zingers. I’ll have to do a price comparison sometime.

    Your gazebo is fabulous. I bet it does give a cozy feeling when you sit out there with a glass of wine. Happy belated birthday!

    Pam, yes I love that weathered look! What kind of shade plant could I put in it for the “heighth” part of it? I need to look at your older blogs and get ideas! I love also what ESP mentioned about succulents in it. Robin

  3. Robin,
    I love your tank and I think ESP’s ideas are great. Maybe also adding a grass or two would be nice (I’m thinking of Mexican Feather Grass and if you want some height, maybe a smaller Misicanthus or a Gulf Muhly). I’ve also been coveting a tank at my local feed store but it’s not nice and weathered like yours.

  4. Grasses are an interesting idea, but I’m not sure I’ll get enough sun in there for them. But I will need something for some height. there’s not enough sun even for a softleaf yucca (I have a very shady yard, and it is something I deal with constantly). thanks!

  5. Robin, Lindheimer’s nolina (not Texas nolina, which is more sprawling) will give you the look of a grass and a little height, and it’ll thrive in the shade. You could also try Salvia guaranitica. Or agarita. Or a dwarf pomegranate. Or even a pyramidal clipped boxwood, planted off-center, for an ironically formal anchor surrounded by looser, tumbling plants like plumbago, silver ponyfoot, and columbine. There’s all kinds of fun to be had, don’t you think?

  6. Pam, it is not by accident that your garden is always gorgeous! How on earth you ever come up with these amazing and wonderful combinations is beyond me! Oh, now what to do? I have two great ideas – yours, which is low maintenance and a little feminine, and ESPs which is low maintenance and dramatic with succulents? Thanks!

  7. Pingback: Vision fulfilled « Getting Grounded

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