April 08, 2019

Austin's Awesome Container Plantings

A Container 1
Stock tank plant display area at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

At the Austin Garden Bloggers Fling last May, I learned that the soil in the Austin area varies widely, depending on the location of the garden. I also learned that Austin gardeners are incredibly creative with their container plantings--often dealing with soil challenges, but sometimes simply because they're talented folks.

Stock tanks, like those used at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center to showcase native plant species, are a common vessel for plants in Austin.

A Container 2

Terra cotta pots set on gravel and surrounded by beautiful rocks are a great way to showcase a little corner of Jennifer Stocker's (Rock Rose) impressive plant collection--in this case, a sampling of succulents.

A Container 3

Metal planting beds edged along a stepped walkway with matching caging seem elegant, and blend well with the natural surroundings at this private garden.

A Container 4

Designer Colleen Jamison's whimsy with pots and plantings includes this delightful stacked display leading up to the door.

A Container 5

A colorful ceramic pot filled with blue marbles suggests water and floating succulents.

A Container 6

Creative window boxes always catch my eye, and the colors in this one are dramatic, but complementary to the structure's paint colors.

A Container 7

Pam Penick's (Digging) stock tank pond is really something special--it fits the surroundings, and the brick pavers framing it.

A Container 8

A totally different style and use of potted plants awaits at the garden of designer B. Jane.

A Container 9

A Container 10

The collections are expertly arranged around the foundations of the buildings and the pool.

A Container 11

Traditional designs are wonderful, too, like this one at a private garden. I love the look of this old-fashioned well-surround, planted with Daylilies, Daisies, and other plants, along with the Celtic cross.

A Container 12

Author/designer Lucinda Hutson certainly works magic with her colorful planters. I love the bright colors of this pair.

A Container 13

This little courtyard on her amazing property is filled with potted fun.

A Container 14

Her unique use of pastel beauty really makes a statement.

A Container 15

Another private garden makes a nice use of echoing potted succulents on the table with a complementary arrangement on the patio. The warm earth-tone colors of the pots set off the beautiful limestone brick.

A Container 16

Succulents spilling over the edge of a metal pot, framed by Salvias in the courtyard--very nice.

A Container 17

Talk about creative--I love everything about this grouping--from the face sculpture to the metal door/trellis to the bright blue pot.

A Container 18

Sometimes pots are so vibrant, the best plants for them are angular and green, like this Pencil Cactus Euphorbia.

A Container 19

Designer Diana Kirby has some unique planters, too, like this vertical planter with succulents, reminding us of the important things in life.

A Container 20

This vibrant blue pot with a tasteful collection of plants spilling out all sides is simply lovely.

The Garden Bloggers Fling is always inspirational and fun. This year we're meeting in Denver, Colorado, June 13-16. To learn more about The Fling visit this link: https://bit.ly/2I7l5ao.

February 28, 2019

Results of the #Shortdays Challenge

shortdays challenge

At the beginning of November, I started a #shortdayschallenge on Instagram. The purpose: to increase my appreciation of the blessings of each day--even through the coldest, shortest days. I wanted to avoid my common habit of wishing the winter away, which can mean missing out on little pleasures and living in a sour state of mind for weeks on end.

Did it work? For the most part, I would say yes, posting about a special thing each day helped me better appreciate the season. Admittedly, this particular winter with its deep polar vortex and erratic temperature and weather changes has been tough. But the #shortdayschallenge did help.

Now that the challenge is completed, I'm cutting back on social media for a
bit--not an official break, but a slowdown. I have some good reasons.


One reason is this little fellow--our new little cockapoo puppy, Nicholas. He's really smart and he's catching on quickly to all things puppies need to learn. I'm trying to savor the time with him as a puppy. It will pass too fast.


Also, I need to get going with some seed-starting! Spring will be here before we know it, and I hope to have some healthy starts to plants for the potager garden. Other family events are keeping me busy, too. So, I apologize for not being as attentive with visits and comments on your posts for a few weeks. Time to prepare for the growing season ahead!

February 18, 2019

In a Vase on Monday: I Needed Color


On Mondays, Cathy at Rambling in the Garden hosts the meme In a Vase on Monday. Obviously, my USDA zone 5a garden has no flowers blooming during the winter, so I must cheat to participate when my garden is covered in snow.

Plus, I needed some color. So I bought myself a bright bouquet at the market. This lovely collection included one bright pink Gerbera Daisy, creamy Hydrangeas, peachy Carnations, chartreuse and yellow Mums, purple Statice, fuchsia Dianthus, and several perfectly formed Roses. Garish, I guess, but eye-opening and heart-warming to my color-starved soul.

vase with cat

By the time I got around to arranging them, the Gerbera Daisy had lost its groove, but the rest of the blooms still looked pretty good. I grabbed a few strands of English Ivy to flow along the sides. (The cat approved.)

basket vase

While it was a little too early to think about Easter, this metal basket with a handle seemed an appropriate vessel for the beauties.

flowers in vase 1

Just going on instinct and preference at the time, I arranged the warmer elements around the sides and the bottom.

flowers in vase 2

And I inserted the cool Statice and Dianthus toward the top.


Completed just before Valentine's Day, the collection formed an unintentional heart shape.

little from top

The extra Roses and a Carnation were perfect for a bud vase.


This tiny olive oil jar our daughter brought back from Mexico was ideal for the mini-arrangement.

little vase

Sometimes the little things bring the greatest joy.

hutch display

All are holding up well after several additional days in saturated floral foam. I had to place both arrangements up and away from the cat. I like this one on top of the hutch.

Happy vase day! To join in Cathy's meme, head on over to Rambling in the Garden.