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Beautiful Designs Indoors & Out

February means fragrance in my garden. As the Mexican plum unfurls hundreds of papery white blossoms, the bees wake up, drawn to the scent of a new season.

The kitchen’s fragrant, too, since I cut floppy stems of narcissus and tucked them into rosemary sprigs. By the way, now’s an excellent time to prune your rosemary!

A houseplant I’d love to have is rattlesnake plant (Calathea lancifolia) in this elegant container stand. It also accepts lower light, and like many plants in the prayer family, closes at night.

It’s one of the many temptations that Melissa Hagen and Lindsey Mayer carted to KLRU from Tillery Street Plant Company.

For bright light, they brought along Fiddle-leaf fig and a less fussy ficus, ‘Audrey’ Bengal fig. Since the right container makes a design statement, they hand select each one for the shop.

Glamorous ‘Looking Glass’ begonia doesn’t need pampering.

General Manager Lindsey and Houseplant Manager Melissa note the top 2 houseplant mistakes: too much water and not enough light. If you buy a darling pot with no drainage hole, either ask the nursery to drill it for you or insert a smaller container that drains. Traci Hutson, married to Tillery Street owner Jon, crafts some of their pottery, too.

We didn’t get to everything, including the latest houseplant love, Marimo moss ball, but here’s a group of plants for low light (but some indirect light): ZZ plant, Marimo moss ball, snake plant and Satin Pothos. Watch now!

Jon Hutson’s been an Austin garden innovator for years. When he ventured into East Austin to open Tillery Street, he started a new chapter, one that continues to evolve.

Check out the latest additions, houseplant workshops, and tried and true fruit trees, trees, shrubs, perennials and more.



Overwatering house plants can lead to pesky fungus gnats. Tiny spider mites catch a ride inside. John’s got easy tips to keep your plants pest free and healthy.

We can control our houseplant soil. Outdoors, we can nourish and improve soil with compost, leaves, and mulch.

But can we change our soil pH? I’ve heard every trick to grow acid-loving plants in our alkaline soil: from coffee grounds and egg shells to mulches and sulfur. Sure, they will help your soil. Get Daphne’s answer.

Viewer Bev Boyce, who moved to Texas three years ago, shares her tips about growing Satsuma orange.

Get Texas A&M fruit specialist Monte Nesbitt’s list of cold hardy citrus.

Citrus need lots of nitrogen and now’s a good time to apply. Trisha explains how to grow cold hardy citrus and fertilize them.

On tour: Maverick Fisher’s garden has its roots in San Antonio, where he grew up around native plants beloved by his grandmother, Jane Maverick McMillan, and mother, Mary Maverick Fisher.

When he bought a 1940s cottage on a sloping lot in east Travis Heights, he went intentionally informal with natives from Texas and Northern Mexico.

‘Pink Flamingo’ muhly mingles with wildlife-beloved native standing cypress, Conoclinium greggii, and various succulents.

To banish invasives for a wildlife friendly garden with future sustainability, he worked with designers Lauren Springer Ogden and Scott Ogden and Patrick Kirwin.

In front, they chose plants that don’t mind intense light swings, from shade to sudden sunlight bursts.

Nolina tends to the evergreen structure while winter-dormant Conoclinium greggii feeds the butterflies come late summer.

Since Maverick’s on a direct path for cars racing down a steep intersecting street, strategic boulders prevent a vehicle careening through his yard. Cenizo, grasses, and succulents replaced crape myrtles as a privacy screen.

To screen the neighboring side shaded by his beloved heritage live oak, understory plants like American beautyberry thrive in dappled light.

With chunks of broken up sidewalk, Scott suggested turning them over for a textural path at the back gate.


In back, for shade and a break from the back alley view, the Ogdens selected a grove of silver-toned Mexican sycamores layered with perennials to embrace a dog friendly lawn of Buffalo grass.

Maverick mesquite, a thornless variety of honey mesquite, monitors its side fence hedge of evergreen and deciduous foliar and floral companions.

South Texas fiddlewood (Citharexylum berlandieri), topped with bee-loving flowers, fills in the informal hedge.


Hacienda creeper, a northeastern Mexico version of Virginia creeper, winds through the alley-side fence of cedar and cattle panel.


To provide a sense of intimacy for Maverick’s upper deck, the Ogdens planted Hacienda creeper in containers to climb up chains.



In the narrow space between the old driveway and the neighbors, they chose Alphonse Karr, a non-running bamboo.

Even though Maverick’s just blocks from hectic Riverside Drive, his shielded patio seems miles away.



In this certified Backyard Habitat, Maverick’s already upped his wildlife participation, thanks to water and plants like native summer-blooming Datura to attract nighttime moths.

Hummingbirds go for summer’s cypress vine.

Fall’s butterflies head for native white mistflower.

Even Maverick’s deck patio gets “Leopard Lighting,” as described by his mother’s photographer instructor, but Echo and King John are always up for a cuddle!

Watch the whole story now!

And thanks for stopping by! See you next week, Linda

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