currently in Austin


Grow up with vines + Home of the hippos artistic garden!

Got something to hide? Even in a narrow space, vines have got you covered! Summer and fall blooming Queen’s wreath is truly royalty with bees and butterflies.

Queen's Wreath vine on chain link fence Central Texas Gardener

Perhaps you’d like to cozy things up with easy-to-control star jasmine?

star jasmine vine framing intimate outdoor dining Central Texas Gardener

If you’ve got to contain yourself, check out small vines like clematis.

clematis in a container Central Texas Gardener

For shade, I like evergreen potato vine Solanum jasminoides. Mine’s twirling around an obelisk, promising fragrant little flowers soon. You could do this one in a large container, too.

potato vine flower Central Texas Gardener

This week, let’s grow up with Colby Adams from Barton Springs Nursery, who takes our gardens to new heights.

Tom Spencer and Colby Adams Barton Springs Nursery vines Central Texas Gardener

Something new to us is winter deciduous orchid vine (Bauhinia corymbosa). In full sun to part shade, it explodes with small, fragrant, orchid-like flowers in spring. Perfect in containers, too.

orchid vine bauhinia corymbosa

Pandora vine (Pandorea jasminoides) is another deciduous, aromatic spring bloomer with flowers like morning glories. This deer resistant vine can freeze if not protected below 20°.

pandora vine top tropicals

Crossvine (Bignonia capreolata) is a drought defiant top performer. Mostly evergreen, the native red and yellow or cultivar ‘Tangerine Beauty’ is busy blooming in spring; sporadic flowers feed wildlife through fall.

crossvine at Mueller Lake Park Central Texas Gardener Tangerine Beauty crossvine flower Central Texas Gardener

Much tamer evergreen coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirensis) performs most in spring, but keeps on going through early summer.

native coral honeysuckle vine on fence Central Texas Gardener

For shade, evergreen Clematis armandii is a show-stopper with huge, super fragrant flowers in spring. It will take over the world, but if you need to hide that fence or cover an arbor in shade, it can’t be beat!

clematis armandii vine for shade Central Texas Gardener

Watch online and get Colby’s list.

Special guest Jim Kamas, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension fruit expert, answers one of our most frequent questions: which fruit trees need another for pollination?

mexican plum flowers central texas gardener
  • Peaches: self-pollinated except for old varieties.
  • Apples & pears: cross pollinated. You need two different varieties that bloom at the same time.
  • Plums: that depends! Best ones for Central Texas are Methley and Santa Rosa, self-pollinators.

Find out more about pollination (like pecan trees and grapes) and about plums, our Plant of the Week.

To fend off critters snagging our flowers and food, Trisha shows off her favorite new repellents from I Must Garden. In her organic garden, Trisha’s had great success with their products to repel deer, squirrels, and even mosquitoes!

I Must Garden deer squirrel repellent Central Texas Gardener

On tour in Hutto, the main critters you’ll see are flying around on flowers and fruit. Well, and a few hippos, too, keeping a stalwart watch on all the air traffic.

concrete "bee" hippo with coreopsis and poppy central texas gardener Hutto concrete hippo with Indian blanket wildflowers central texas gardener

Donna and Mike Fowler work hard in their garden, but they also have a heck of a lot of fun. Mike built Donna’s queenly chair from tree prunings on site.

Big garden chair Fowler Hutto garden Central Texas Gardener

With boundless imagination, any curbside discard or thrift store find prompts a creative brainstorm to punctuate every garden spot.

blue bottle lady garden art Hutto Central Texas Gardener

While playful, they craft homegrown art to accent Donna’s plant schemes. I love this “study in blue” with cobalt bottle tree, plumbago and Salvia guaranitica.

blue bottles, plumbago, salvia Hutto Central Texas Gardener

Ever witty former Hutto mayor Mike tucks in subtle political digs, like Medicare Man of War bottle tree, welded by Ron Whitfield. It’s also a heads up to pharmacist Donna!

turquoise bottle tree Hutto Central Texas Gardener

Art and stylistic plants personalize each distinct area. The sunny Texas drought tough area in front sports yuccas, aloes and lots of fluffy plants to complement.

aloes yuccas and texture drought tough Hutto Central Texas Gardener aloes yuccas and texture drought tough Hutto Central Texas Gardener

A Zen garden with tumbled glass dry stream started as a flood control measure.

Tumbled glass dry creek Hutto Central Texas Gardener zen sculpture with rocks Hutto Central Texas Gardener

The “stream” connects to a soft, lush secret garden behind foundling gates. The stream also disperses intense rain events to slowly sink in.

art garden Hutto Central Texas Gardener tumbled glass dry stream bed drought flowers Hutto Central Texas Gardener

Throughout the garden, the Fowlers placed sculptures created by Mike’s dad, Mel Fowler.

Mel Fowler sculpture wildflowers Hutto garden Central Texas Gardener

In driest times, their xeric plants get a rainwater harvesting boost.

sculpture rainwater collection wildflowers Hutto central texas gardener

Follow the flower-bordered path to an intimate conversation area.

wildflower and daylily patio Hutto central texas gardener

They bought the empty lot next door for Donna’s lush organic vegetable garden.

artistic vegetable garden Hutto Central Texas Gardener

Their bottle tree here resembles a basketful of Donna’s nightly harvests.

colorful bottle tree vegetable garden Hutto Central Texas Gardener

Son Luke’s teepee celebrates Native American sustainability and the family’s distant heritage.

garden teepee Luke Fowler Hutto garden Central Texas Gardener

There’s lots more, so get ready to be inspired for your spring projects right now!

Thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda