I have finalized my plans for the backyard after over a year of sketches! I am so excited to show all of you! But before I do, I want to talk about a gorgeous and useful Texas native plant, and why I have chosen it to be our “lawn”…our “negative space” (David, thank you for hammering this concept into my head). I have always loved seeing Texas frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora) in hanging baskets and containers…or little patches here and there. But while camping at Inks Lake State Park, it came to me. It was then my plan of a frogfruit “lawn” was hatched. All over the picnic area by the lake is frogfruit. It is everywhere, it is well trampled, it is in full-sun, the soil is compacted and clay-ish like mine, it mingled well in nature with other “weeds” and grasses including, but not limited to, dreaded bermuda grass…and most importantly IT JUST WORKS! Above: Frogfruit mingling well with other weeds and grasses.Frogfruit is an incredible nectar source when other things are not blooming. I love the way it looks like miniature pineapples! HOSPITALITY! HELLO!Beyond my baby girl, a sea of green frogfruit groundcover. Notice that it is bare in only the most travelled human paths and immediate picnic table areas.
So learning from nature, and applying it (hopefully effectively):
-My yard has similar compacted clay’ish soil in the areas I will plant it.
-My future frogfruit “lawn”is currently in full-sun like at this location at Inks Lake. Frogfruit can thrive in part-sun as well, so when my newly planted trees grow-up, it should continue to thrive.
-I used to have bermuda grass in the area I will plant the frogfruit. I have killed the grass, but we all know I have not seen the end of it. ;) GRRRrrrr
-I DO NOT WANT GRASS IN MY BACKYARD – OR ANYWHERE ELSE ON OUR PROPERTY.
-I DO want negative space for the eye to rest – and my husband wants that space to be green and not hot rock.
-I will create paths in the most highly travelled areas, and I will not plant it in picnic table areas, the fire pit area, etc. Although it is noteworthy that we are a family of four, and the photos are taken at a state park travelled by hundreds if not thousands of people yearly…and it has mostly stood up. That equals an incredible and durable native ground covering in my books! It is all about the right plant in the right place – this plant is documented and proven to do well in the conditions I have for it, therefore, I suspect here at home it will work very well.
This is an experiment I look forward to doing and sharing with all of you!