Xeric and stylish gardening in San Antonio, Texas

1st Foliage Follow-Up for xericstyle…

For FANTASTIC foliage, and fantastic everything for that matter, please head over to digging and see foliage Pam Penick-style.  Pam is my mentor, my inspiration, my guru, practically the reason for my gardens’ existence.   What would I do without Pam?  Hmmmmmmm … have a REALLY ugly yard!

In my garden a lot of things are flowering right now after the rains so I decided to focus my first foliage follow-up post on how foliage can make an eyesore fabulous.  I hope you can see my vision because right now nothing is fabulous,  I still have U-G-L-Y,  UGLY eyesores.  BUT….the potential!

Here you can see my hideous shed.  HOWEVER….add a few quirky elements like the cactus wreath I made, and the Texas longhorn bird house a friend made me, and it already looks better.  However, what will be most transforming are the two yellow butterfly vines (Mascagnia macroptera) I planted on each side of the shed.  When I close my eyes I see the shed covered in the vine …sides…roof…everywhere… CAN’T WAIT.  I also plan on an orange lantana in front of the vine.  By the way, I have not watered the vines in 2012 – not even once…seriously!  I planted them last fall, so they did get a rainy “establishment season.”  But come  2012 – they got no care from me.  ZILTCH!

I really REALLY hope this bamboo muhly (Muhlenbergia dumosa)  makes a nice screen for the a/c unit when it grows up.  I think it will be just the right height…however the air blowing may be a disaster and it may not be happy here.  Oh well, you don’t know unless you try!  Learning to garden is killing a lot of plants…and moving a lot of plants over and over…and for me..over again!

And here I planted my 4th and final Yucca Rostrata ‘Sapphire Skies’ as it will be a good width and height to cover this electrical panel and also provide another structural element to this bed.  This will take years, but hey, I am pretty patient.  And again, when I close my eyes, I can’t help it, I just see it there.  I see it grown …and I can’t shake it out of my head.

First foliage follow-up! Feels good y’all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Again, let me say, landscape can transform an ugly yard and an ugly house to no end.  It never ceases to amaze me.


  1. Heather, I’m blushing over your compliments. Thank you for the kind words – you made my day! I’m totally digging your vision and can see how your lovely foliage plants are on their way to screening and greening up your garden and, in the case of your Yucca rostrata, adding a gorgeous architectural note to your garden bed. Yes, it takes patience, but that’s what gardening is all about. Thanks for posting!

  2. No, thank YOU Pam. And thanks for stopping by today. I am glad you can see what I am aiming towards and approve! yay! -xericstyle

  3. Steve

    Nice pics. Are you in Texas too? College Station here, so I can relate to your garden woes. I like the pic of the Yucca on the side of the house, but really I like the look of the rocks in the back and in the front. Do you think it would look nice to use the same stones to frame around the yucca (not a little circle outline, but like a full enclosed circle)?. I know A&M is going crazy with rock mulch right now, but I like the way it looks, especially with rugged succulents like yuccas. Just an idea :)

    • Sounds like a plan to me Steve! Yes, I am here in lovely San Antone. Thanks so much for your thoughts/ideas. I’ll give it a try. I also really like the way the natural stones of Texas look around rugged plants too! I actually did that in the front and it worked well around a yucca – you are right, this one needs it, it looks lost! Thank you! – xericstyle

  4. Your new landscape is beginning to take shape and look great. I was surprised by the five years too. I might just get a small one too. A nice mature one at the nursery is so expensive I thought they take forever to grow.

    • Totally Shirley! May as well try it out ….especially in areas that you don’t mind waiting. In this particular area I wish I could have popped a big mama trunked one in there but I could not find a ‘sapphire skies’ one anywhere and I was getting too impatient. I would rather have one in the ground growing and adapting is what it boiled down to for me in this spot. I got mine here, and they were EXCELLENT. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your sweet compliments today.- xericstyle

  5. Louis

    I love your cactus wreath! And I totally know what you mean about the yucca. It will look great there. I can see it too!

    • Thanks so much Louis! It is not as pretty as yours though. – xericstyle

  6. Salma Quraishi

    Hey Pam approves!! I’m thinking my gushing isn’t going to be that impactful after she’s weighed in, so I’ll leave it at IT ALL LOOKS INCREDIBLE!!! if that bamboo muhly is like mine it’s going to be a monster in one season. I hope it doesn’t affect airflow on your AC unit (???). The rostrata look very cute, and I WISH I could be as patient as you. Mine is coming up nicely, though I’m still not clear on how much I should be watering him. He seldom gets a real deep watering. Wondering if that will affect the growth rate? Miss you guys- I’m always trying to invoke you when I think about messing around with my beds… “what would xericstyle do…”

    • Awe – thanks so much Salma! I think the bamboo muhly will be okay as far as airflow – that is why I picked it…airy. I thought of a screen but figured this would be far more airy and the unit still has 3 other sides open. My only concern is if it will take the blowing or wither to smitherines. Time will tell – I like a good experiment! Your yucca should be established enough now from when we planted it. Your concern should be more about over-watering. Fall is here and rainfall should do it. You don’t want to train your plants to be wimps…you want your garden to naturalize to the climate where it sits…that is your goal. Not watering more often than needed, just because you can. It is going to be great!!!! – xericstyle

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