Vision fulfilled

Ever since putting in the new fence and expanding the yard by over 15 feet, I’ve had a vision for this new part of the yard. And being the soul that I am, nothing was right until I had that part completed. I had seen the vision in my head and nothing else would do. Some people enjoy unfinished projects, as it gives them time to mull it over and really decide if that’s what they want. Others, like me, decide quickly and then can’t stand it until its done.

During the kitchen remodeling process, there have often been so many workers and so much going on inside the house that I’ve spent days outdoors in the garden catching up on projects. I’m actually glad that I’ve been forced outside all day, as I’ve finally completed the hardscape for these beds. While raised beds with stacked limestone borders would be the “prettier” way to go, these low beds and simple edges fit the personality of the house and neighborhood (and the budget of the gardener and homeowner ).

I love the convergence of these paths, and the way it opens up to Choices. Though you can’t see it in the photo, there are actually four choices of directions to wander. It makes me think of Robert Frost when I’m standing there. (Of course, I’m seeing it with tall, thick mature plants lining the paths…)


At the top of the rise, my succulent trough is finally planted. The trough itself was a passalong from my father’s farm. What I love about this particular trough is that my childhood horse, luxuriously retired to the farm during his last years, drank from it. Fond memories like that are scattered through my garden.


Some of the succulents here want a bit more sun than they will get, so they’ll probably not reach the huge proportions that they could if planted elsewhere. Others will eventually try to take over the trough and I’ll have to trim them back and remind them to share and not be so possessive. I’m especially looking forward to growth on the ones that will drape over the front edge.


As a reward, I then allowed myself a few inspirational nursery trips for ideas for the new bed. I always let a bed tell me what it wants, rather than viceversa. Sometimes it takes a few weeks, or even months, for the ideas to come together, but it always eventually will. Then I take action.  This one came together after an unexpected purchase. More on that later.


20 thoughts on “Vision fulfilled

  1. What a lovely space! I love your path and the ‘fork in the road’! I am sure you will have fun filling the beds over the coming months.

  2. You have a lovely California garden, Sheila. I know that mine will never be as lush as yours due to our harsh climate, but nonetheless I can imagine its lushness when mature.

  3. Your new addition is looking great! I love the paths and the bed layouts.
    Cannot wait to see it all planted this summer. We want pictures then for sure 🙂
    I so love recycled planters and the watering tank is such a good focal point and
    addition for planting. Great idea!

  4. Iris, welcome back. I know you’ve been quite busy with hardscaping yourself over the winter. I love the shapes, too, as it draws me in deeper into the gardens.

  5. I love your trough! I want one so bad for succulents. Where do you get those things anyway? Farm type stores? Obviously I’m not that kind of shopper and never been in one. I love your back yard. So inviting!

  6. Brenda, water and feed troughs are typically purchased at a farm store, but here in Austin some locally owned hardware stores carry the smaller sizes. I would look up farm and ranch supply, or livestock supply, for your area and see if you can find a place that sells them. The smaller ones typically run about $100. Pam/Digging has a nice post about using troughs for planting in her archives. And yes, the pathways are blond cedar mulch, not used for bedding plants, but only for walkways, because of the low quality of tree used. However, they claim that the way that it is shredded makes it less likely to wash away. Since we’ve had little to no rain here in 18 months, and definitely no gully-washers like we are used to seeing in Texas, I can’t speak to that yet.

  7. Hi, Brenda (View From the Pines) sent me over for a peek at your pathways and trough; I love both. I’m trying to turn a neglected back yard into a haven, Brenda’s helping me look for ideas. I love the cedar mulch for pathways; where did you find blond cedar mulch, never seen it (only the kind for bedding plants). Also, what type of weed fabric did you use beneath it?
    Also, I saw your Mountain Laurel photos a few posts down, they are beautiful. Those are on my “wish list”; a friend has them and the scent of the blooms is absolutely intoxicating. I am trying, without much luck to germinate some seed from last year. Did you buy them, or start them from seed?
    Thanks for all the great ideas!

  8. Nola, welcome! Brenda is a wealth of ideas, ya’ll will have a good time designing. The cedar mulch came from Home Depot in Austin; it’s very cheap, comes in bags, easy to do. And the weed fabric…uuuhhh…just one off the shelf again at Home Depot. Nothing fancy. I hope it works! I had a few areas of grass that I used Roundup on first; obviously I try to do everything organically when possible, but grass sometimes needs a helping hand to go to God sooner rather than later :). I suggest you give up starting the Mountain Laurel from seed, Nola. Those trees are one of the slowest growing trees that exist; it’s best to invest in a tree already several years old, which might be about 3 feet tall. They aren’t cheap, but they are so worth it for the blooms in the spring, and the gorgeous, glossy green leaves year round. Very hardy, very drought tolerant. I got mine at Barton Springs Nursery in Austin four years ago, and this is the first year for many blooms. Have fun!

  9. Robin, you did an awesome job on the paths and beds. I look forward to seeing what you plant in the latter. Your trough is too cool for words … I love that it holds both succulents and history for you!

  10. Thanks, Cindy. I love the trough as well. Credit is due to Pam/Digging for inspiration for the idea, with her article about using troughs in the garden.

  11. Robin – How pretty that looks. What happened to the chair that was in that corner before? I can imagine it all with tall, lush plants lining the walkways, too. Great bones for you to build on. I can’t wait to see what you put in there as the inspiration comes to you.

  12. The chair is now gracing the fern bed in the front of the house, Diana. It fits the mood there better, old fashioned southern ferns with the antique chair. Good memory!

  13. I’m so glad you’ve got pictures up now! I should have checked back here sooner. You’ve gotten so much done since I’ve seen your garden that it amazes me. The bendaboard and mulch really make that corner look like an entirely different space, and I can visualize it with mature plants around the edges. Very exciting!

    I have a suggestion for the bed under the tree on the right side of the picture– how about some inland sea oats? The size and seclusion of the bed would keep them from becoming invasive, and they grow well under trees in part shade. Lee of The Grackle has some in his garden and I love the look, but sadly I can’t figure out where I could fit some for myself.

    And I recall that Barton Springs Nursery has Turk’s Cap in shades other than red, if you’re avoiding red in the backyard. I got some peachy-pink Turk’s Cap there last fall in those little $1.99 pots!

  14. Yes, Lori, it’s very different now. That’s why I was almost embarrassed to show you around because so much was still left undone when you came over. Now for patience to let those baby plants grow. I have Turk’s Cap in the warm pink already in that bed, and I have white Turk’s Cap out front. I think I got it at Natural Gardener, though. I’ll check into the sea oats – what do they look like in the winter?

  15. Pingback: If you build it, it will come « Getting Grounded

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