This was the one area we employed someone to move the rocks, which form the dry creek, into position. I then dug down and added river rock to create the wet-weather creek running though this area. I have introduced agaves into the mix, for structure, and anything that will grow without irrigation. These include the dwarf yaupon, Texas lantana,wax myrtle, rosemary, yucca, copper canyon daisy and Mexican feather grass. It is a sea of bluebonnets out here in the spring.
The dry creek runs all the way across the front directing water from our infrequent, heavy, Texas downpours. Plants seem happy to seed in the area but the soil is poor and dry and few attain any height. That is, all except for the A. weberi which are the most successful along with the zexmenia and the fall flowering Lindheimer senna.
The creek eventually passes in front of the garage where a pipe feeds any water underneath the driveway and into the real wet weather creek at the bottom of the property. There is little color out here during the summer but another explosion of yellow from the Copper canyon daisies, goldeneye and senna during the fall. A. Weberii is prodigious pup maker and the large ones came as young offsets from my neighbor. I now have plenty of my own to share.
Looking back towards the front entrance gate two turquoise pots hold Agave demettiana 'variegata' It is not hardy in our winters but it is worth putting in the garage for the winter. The original plantings of two sago palm are now in the ground. The one in the photo went unprotected this winter and all the leaves turned brown. The other, much smaller plant, I was about to pull it, thinking it was dead, when I spotted some changes in the center core. It now has a small crown of green leaves. These plants have survived since the age of the dinosaurs which is a testament to their power to live through difficult conditions.
Many of my potted cactus and succulents spend the summer here in the shade of the live oak tree.
Looking back from the platform you can see the large stones which David used to create steps down from the driveway. It was not an easy task deciding how to marry the rounded edge of the driveway to the native area. In the end we decided on the ledge stones. They all came out of the ground on our lot. Our personal quarry!
For a while we thought we would make this area into a Japanese garden, but it was never to become one. This summer I have spent a little time working to improve the area. I added this wooden pot found at a garage sale. A new stock tank pond is contained within a raised bed with some home-made floating islands. I am trying to get silver ponyfoot established around the tank. It is a difficult spot being in the shade until the brutal mid-day sun peaks over the roof-top and shines full on the tank. I am thinking I may need to add some plants on the backside to give shade to the tank.
If you enjoyed taking this walk with me then check back for next time when we'll continue a walk around the house to the back and far side.