Thursday, September 29, 2011

Xeriscape Post-Again You Ask? Part Two

This is part two of my observations of the xeriscape gardens at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens in July of this year. The previous post explained the first two gardens, the Manicured xeriscape and the traditional non-xeriscape garden. If you would like to review these here is a link: xeriscape post again? part one.

This post entry will explain the third demonstration garden: The Hill Country Landscape. The Hill Country Garden is definitely my favorite, as I wish we could grow some of these plants here. As with the other gardens it has its own unique style and design features as defined by the signage. Click on image to read.
Below is the beginning of the garden, leaving the traditional garden along the decomposed granite path.
Immediately the landscape and composition change from traditional manicured to "Hill Country native" Texas style. Cut native limestone border edging delineates the two gardens. Juniperus ashei (Texas Cedar is a common name) posts compromise the sign fence structure, a nice rustic look. Spineless prickly pear, limestone outcropping boulders, Cercis canadensis var. texensis (Texas Redbud a similar cultivar to Eastern Redbud but more adaptable to the thin calcareous soils of the Texas Hill Country, it also has wavy, leathery leaves to inhibit transpiration and is usually more shrubby and multi-stemmed), Molinia (Beargass) I believe or Mulenbergia compromise the plantings in the above photos.

To the right of the signage is the entrance to the garden. Limestone outcrops and edging. DG pathway with native xeric plants and rustic cedar logs. An inviting entrance indeed.
The right side of the garden includes a wonderfully sculpted mesquite tree with salvia and I believe skullcap. A cedar rail fence delineates this garden from the next: the cottage garden.
But we will stay here a little longer as it is my favorite. View from further out below.
I suppose this isn't everyone's cup of tea. Many would feel it's over grown and messy. Not exactly a traditional suburban example is it?
I believe the plant above is a Grey Sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri) or some form of Dasylirion. It might jump out and bite you here however.
Red yucca, Stipa(mexican feather grass), sage, and prickly pear looking out from building.
Arizona Cypress next to building along with Dwarf Youpon Holly and Turks cap I believe in above photo.
Mahonia trifoliolata(Agarita)foreground with Spineless Prickly Pear and Leucophyllum frutescens(Texas sage,Cenzio).
Unique texture contrast these two. I apologize for not having more photos. However, I think you can understand the jist of this garden. A very small area of turf grass and low water use native plants. Most of these plants have the grayish green color and texture common to xeric plants. The next post will be on the Cottage Garden. Onward.


  1. SO glad you went there, as I was unable to make it to the SA Botanic Garden. Can't wait to read and live through your other post(s) there!

    I agree that wilder looks might not appeal, as that happens with many "xeriscapes" in Abq.

  2. Hey Greggo, So glad to see part two.San Antonio is one of the prettiest cities in the US, so a garden like this is only gravy.Nice documentation you have there, man,

  3. I like it also, it's interesting what they can have there vs me up here in Ohio.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  4. Hi Greggo
    I would think you might be able to grow a lot of those plants in Kansas. I have even seen prickly pear growing in protected places in Western Oregon. But really, I like your home gardens...And I think you made up that part about smurfs-- I don't see any smurfs.

  5. I think the Hill Country has such interesting plants, although some do look like they could bite!

  6. Darn!
    I'm really sorry I didn't get to visit the Botanical Gardens when I was in San Antonio. I must return, even though family has moved away:(
    Cheers, Greggo!
    aka Bay Area Tendrils blog

  7. Dear Greggo,
    Love the geometry of the Dasylirion. I woould not like to "weed" this garden.

  8. Dave- I guess us 'wild' folks just like it that way.
    Patrick- My son may be moving to Okla City so I won't have a reason to come back to San Antonio. What a shame. Maybe I'll come back when the monsoon comes in 9 years. Have you heard the new predictions?
    Cher- Ohio probably has its own unique flavors also.
    Linnie Lou- the smurfs are bigger in texas. Those are just there garden sheds.
    holley- yes they are kinda like the fish in the gulf, they all have teeth and you never know which one will bite. lol.
    Alice- San Antonio is a nice place to visit indeed. You should check out the rose emporium too.
    Jeanette- indeed, see coment above to holley.

  9. Wonderful post. I like "unkept" look of the yard. That actually looks like a typical Tucson front or backyard. San Antonio is a great place to garden. Very similiar to the Old Pueblo. Thanks for the tour:)

  10. I'm gonna get me some of that spineless prickly pear! I have just the spot where nothing else seems to grow. If the cactus doesn't work, I'm planting boulders!


Thanks for leaving any comments, they are always welcomed. Sorry I had to add word verification as spam was becoming a huge problem. Greggo,