Hello, and happy Thanksgiving! Before I head to the kitchen and start cooking, I decided it was wayyyy past time to share some pictures of my back garden at the peak of Austin’s “second spring.” Fall is hands-down my favorite time of year, and I consider my back garden to really be a fall garden. I took these pictures at the end of October, after I had a party and cleaned up all kinds of accumulated construction debris and prettied things up a little.
Starting off our tour, here’s the entrance to the back garden as you come around the side of the house. The yucca rostrata peeking out in the background is new this year, replacing a variegated agave americana that didn’t make it through the winter. I really love the color echo with the agave ovatifolia in the foreground:
Continuing around the curve of the lawn, here’s what’s new this year– a stock tank pond! The weird-looking mesquite that used to be there with a climbing rose lost another major limb in a bad storm and was infested with carpenter ants, so out it came. Of course, it took nearly a year after removing the tree to get around to removing the *&*%&^ rock hard stump (breaking up & removing a rock would have probably been easier!) and then excavating for the pond. I always seem to end up working on my own big outdoor projects in the heat of summer, and this one was no exception. Since my soil is basically modeling clay and it was over a hundred degrees the entire time, it was exactly as miserable as you’d imagine. But worth it!
Here’s a better view of the pond from the back deck. I had to dig through pictures to find a picture of just the pond, so this is actually from late August, right after I finished planting around it and cutting & fitting the piece of limestone that the chair sits on.
Backing up a bit in our tour, I love that yucca rostrata. It was the most money I’ve ever spent on a single plant for my garden, and I love love love love it. It really pulls everything together, and I love the evergreen structure and the height and the way the light hits it. Plus I enjoy that unlike the previous agave in that planter, I won’t have to cover it every time a freeze threatens:
In the far left background of the last picture, I finally got around to making a cozy seating area on the back deck where there was previously a broken hot tub. The daybed was a free score from someone moving out of the neighborhood, and I love it. I’ve spent a ton of time back there reading and napping with Killer (the cat) since it’s cooled off. The mirrors were free from the curb during bulk items pickup, the shelf is a board and some cheap brackets, and lighting all of the lanterns and tea lights at night and seeing them reflected in the mirror is magical.
Stepping back off of the deck, here’s the view back towards the entrance to the back garden. I love that agave weberi and I wish it would slow down growing, because I’m going to have to remove when it gets much bigger (it’s blocking access to the outlet I have the fountain plugged into).
When the bottle tree is backlit every morning, that’s my cue that I’ve lingered too long with coffee in the back garden and need to get my ass in gear! The olive tree against the fence is also new this year. I have no idea what variety it is (I got it at a crazy clearance sale with no label), so fingers crossed that it’s one of the cold hardy ones. I love how it adds some evergreen height to that agave vignette and also echoes the other dusty blues going on in the garden.
Speaking of backlighting, here’s one of my favorite views across the backyard. I love how the colors and textures stack:
And now that the clock is about to strike noon, it’s time for me to conclude this tour & go make a pie. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!