Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Beautiful Day in My Neighborhood

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.

As a recent transplant to Austin I'm on a huge learning curve when it comes to gardening here. I found a terrific resource book at Half-Priced Books entitled "Texas Wildscapes: Gardening for Wildlife", by Noreen Damude and Kelly Conrad Bender.

According to the book my neighborhood is on the edge of a geological region known as the Edwards Plateau. My limited understanding is that this section of Austin has a somewhat different climate than Central Austin. We have only a few inches of soil over solid limestone in our garden. Yet, what may seem like a deficit to some can be a real blessing. The limestone outcropping in the garden below makes a very dramatic statement.

It's a far cry from Florida's sandy soil, yet some of my Northwest Austin neighbors have proven that a beautiful garden can still be realized in this area. The curbside garden below is particularly lovely. Even the fire hydrant looks good.

It's fun to enjoy the wild and cultivated plants on morning walks in my neighborhood. This morning I discovered some lavender-colored wildflowers. They seem to be everywhere. I wasn't sure what they were. Annie from The Transplantable Rose says it is Allium drummondii and I do believe she's right. Thanks Annie!

I appreciate the beautiful trees that shade the sidewalks here as well.

I love the way the branches seem to dance against the sky.

In news closer to home, I am happy to report that more of my goldfish survived the cold last weekend than I had feared. Seems they were only suffering from stage fright and are experts at hiding.

A problem our local squirrels do not share. This little fellow let me get within 6 feet of him to take this photo. As long as the whole wheat crackers kept coming he was happy.

Just want to add that the highlight of my week was when I was invited to join the Austin Garden Bloggers on their annual garden tour. I'm so excited and cannot wait to meet all of you. Many thanks to you ladies!

And if that doesn't convince you that Austin is a great place to live, perhaps this video of Zilker Park will. Enjoy!

Copyright © 2007-2009. Suburban Wildlife Garden. All Rights Reserved.


Anonymous said...

You know, you're right. That silver fire hydrant doesn't look bad backed by that silvery sotol. Neat trick.

And, by the way, I'm looking forward to meeting you too, Dawn!

Susan said...

Hey Dawn — Those are some great looking live oaks in your neighborhood. I'm always amazed that they can live on that limestone.

I have the name of that wildflower on the tip of my brain but I can't quite get it. Maybe someone else will know.

I'm looking forward to meeting you as well and showing you my garden.

Annie in Austin said...

Is it wild garlic, Allium drummondii?

Your neighbor's curbside garden looks very colorful and the silver does make the hydrant look interesting.

I guess the deer are not too bad where you live, Dawn, because the petunias and bluebonnets haven't been eaten. That's a good sign!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Dawn said...


I'm told the garden with the hydrant is owned by a landscape gardener. His corner lot is inspiring, but from what I've seen on your blog it doesn't hold a candle to your garden. :-)


You're right, it really is amazing that such big trees can do so well with such thin soil. I'm not sure how they manage it. Unless I purchase a pickaxe I'm limited to planting everything in one-gallon or smaller containers in my garden.


You're probably correct about it being an allium. I'll drop by the field again and give the leaves a pinch to see if they smell like garlic. I need to find my copy of Texas Wildflowers so I can learn more about the plants popping up around me.

Not sure if I've just lucked out with the deer thus far, or if they don't liken venturing this deeply into the subdivision. I know they've eaten some flowers in the neighbors' yards across the street. My petunias are only in the hanging basket in the front so they'd have to be acrobatic deer to get to them...though I'd happily let them eat all the petunias if I could get that photo. ;-) But if they like eating bluebonnets they could certainly get to those easily. I wonder if they will visit my yard as it starts to look more appetizing.

Thanks again ladies. I really look forward to meeting all of you and seeing your beautiful gardens.

Have a great weekend,

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the garden compliment, Dawn, but remember that my blog shows an edited and cropped version of my garden. It's a bit like airbrushing a model on a magazine cover. ;-)

Vivé said...

Hi Dawn,

Thanks for dropping by my blog. For me, too, a highlight of the week was being brought into the Austin garden blogging club. I'm so excited about next weekend's get together.

It's going to be a lot of fun to see how your garden develops. I took a gardening class from two folks who lived up that way, and they'd even managed to grow azaleas (with LOTS of effort) up thataway. Can you imagine?

See you next week.

Dawn said...


All editing aside, you have a great eye for combining color and textures in your garden. You're obviously very talented. :-)


I'm with you on the excitement level of meeting everyone and seeing their gardens next week. :-)

I haven't seen many azaleas in my area. No doubt they aren't real fond of the limestone shelf under the thin soil. The folks who can grow them here must be very determined and know how to amend the soil.

6 more days until the progressive garden tour. Woohoo!