Xeric and stylish gardening in San Antonio, Texas

Backyard beds are starting to look like something…

We have the beginning of a back garden y’all!  Thanks to the recent rains things are really filling in nicely.  Lets take look at a few key beds…we've got a back garden!This is what I see now as I walk out of the sliding glass doors onto the covered patio.  The herb bed is floating in the middle of it all.  It has been VERY handy.  Lets take a closer look…herb bedI like to make my herb and vegetable gardens pretty – I have mixed in california poppies and blackfoot daisy for color and ….well…fun!delish!Thanks to the cool spring we have had I still have an abundance of parsley.  We use a lot of it so this has been wonderful.  That is french sorrel and red veined sorrel in front of the orange pot.   mint needs to be in a potIn the pot is peppermint.  I keep my mint, oregano, and thyme in pots within the bed otherwise they would take over!  I also like how the pots add instant levels, structure, and color to the bed.comfreyPretty little combo of comfrey (essential for bumps and bruises and your compost pile) and California poppy.  In the right-hand corner peeping in is stevia.a/c bed from hell is finally worked out..."knock on wood!"Above is my a/c bed from hell that I think (knock on wood) I have finally figured out!  This bed has  6 months in full shade and 6 months in full sun.  It has been a challenge!  On the run down, first is bamboo muhly grass (Muhlenbergia dumosa), then Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa), dahlberg daisy (Thymophylla tenuiloba) and ‘angelina’ sedum living mulch, orange bulbine (Bulbine frutescens), blackfoot daisy (Melampodium leucanthum) and Mexican honeysuckle (Justicia spicigera).  From the bulbine surrounded Inuksuk on, this area gets some sun in the winter.  Because of this, the bulbine, Mexican honeysuckle, and blackfoot daisies flower A LOT.yucca rostrata 'sapphire skies'Within the dahlberg daisy living mulch, yucca rostrata ‘sapphire skies’ has survived 6 months of shade!  Yippee!HOT zinniasI planted the berms a little, but I have started to mulch them in and pack it in until fall.  Above, HOT zinnias steal the show.  They are surrounded by green santolina (Santolina pinnata), Mexican feather grass (Nassella tenuissima) for movement, and more dahlberg daisies for added hotness.

Like my front “purple garden”, you can see my backyard garden color choices are also analogous. The front is “cool and sharp” and the back is “hot and soft.”  I want my front garden to be soothing and easy to look at for passers-by.  To expand that thought…cool as in cool colors (purple/blues/silvers) and modern – and sharp as in crisp and organized and lots of succulents and cacti (sharp as in ouch) for structure.  However, the back garden is going to be hot and soft – a  party full of red, orange, and yellows.  Not too many cacti back here where we hang out and play.  I want more of a fiesta of color and texture.  That is the ultimate plan that I always keep at the forefront when I make design and plant decisions for home.

Happy Mothers Day to all the mommies. xo


  1. Looking good. That’s filling in fast. I like the hot colors. But, those purples are pretty good, too.

    Happy Mother’s Day to you.

    • Thank you so much Linda, and I am so happy you stopped by. Happy Mother’s Day to you too :) -xericstyle

  2. I have enjoyed watching your marvelous progress…keep it coming.

    • Thank you Charlie! I will try….summer heat is comin’ and I sense a slow down until fall…. -xericstyle

  3. It is looking really good. You created a nice place to relax and enjoy the garden.

    • Thank you Michael – that means a lot to me coming from you….it is my goal to have a relaxing and fun space back there. – xericstyle

  4. Wow Heather! Happy Mother’s Day. Have fun playing in your wonderful garden!

    • Thanks Shirley, hope you are having a wonderful weekend. Can’t wait to see y’all Tuesday! -xericstyle

  5. Desert Dweller

    Happy mothers day, and I enjoy hearing about all your progress…and all that talk about ““cool and sharp” and “hot and soft”! Oh yeah, and I think sharp is better cool, and hot soft, than sharp is warm, etc. Interesting insight I hadn’t thought of.

    • Ha! Ha! Well if you followed all that, I am amazed. I am full of @$%! I am not so sure I followed it myself. I am not the best at putting thoughts into words sometimes! – looking forward to tomorrow :) -xericstyle

  6. Very impressive! I’m loving your dahlberg daisy. I purchased some and I hope mine fill in like yours. I really like seeing flowers in a herb/veggie garden. Hope you had a great Mother’s day!

    • Thank you and cheers to your dahlbergs! Woo-hoo! They re-seed like crazy – I am sure you know that already, but in case you didn’t. So far I have loved that. But now that I have a granite path in front of that bed….I may have a different opinion next spring! ;) -xericstyle

  7. I think I’m in love with your garden!!!! Nice touch potting up some of the more invasive herbs.

    • Awe – well that means a lot! It loves you back xo -xericstyle

  8. Don’t you love it when you begin to figure out those tough beds with challenging light conditions? It’s the best feeling! Your garden is really looking welcoming and beautiful. I love the openness of the paths/patios, but broken up with the colorful island and bermed beds. Great solution!

    • Thank you Pam! That means sooooooooooooooooooo much mentor!!!!!!!!! -xericstyle

  9. I’ve really been enjoying your blog and seeing the progress with your yard. You said you put cardboard under your decomposed granite. Did you mix a stabilizer with it and how do you keep weeds from popping up in it?

    • Hi Marti, thanks for stopping by – in some areas I put newspaper several layers thick or cardboard under granite paths, etc, and in some areas I did not. Also some areas have several inches of base THEN several of granite (parking area), and some areas just have granite. All in all, it is working out very well. I DO get weeds, not from “under” but I imagine from blown in seeds. I just pull them when I see them- and they are not excessive. If one’s expectation is to never get weeds, it may be unrealistic…unfortunately. I did get a wonderful tip from another blogger (East Side Patch) that he sometimes mixes in dry cement mix with his granite in certain areas which really intrigued me, and although I have not tried it yet, I look forward to trying it. You may want to head over there and ask him, as he has WAY more experience than me. Thanks for your comment – xericstyle

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