Water Solutions + East Austin Succulents Home Garden Central Texas GardenerTo conserve water—now that we’re back to dry—Christopher takes a quick look at wicking beds.
Like Christopher, John Dromgoole notes that water control and conservation begins by improving your soil’s permeability. And, since new plants need water assistance their first year, he’s got tips on handy dandy timers and ollas.
Viewer picture goes to Jon and Kristy in Boerne , who built a heads high protective structure to fend off vegetable pests in summer with netting.
Using recycled cedar (ashe juniper) as posts, they attached PVC pipe that’s rated for above and below ground after painting it to blend in. Small eye hooks allow them to anchor blankets when those frosty days arrive again!

On tour , Julie Patton and Eric Pedley put some pizazz into their small yard, once home to lots of lawn.
Slowly, they’re moving out the lawn for lots and lots of succulents.
Eric’s passion for succulents started with a division from a friend and later a trip to the Austin Cactus and Succulent Society show. He dumped his day job as a bartender and started East Austin Succulents.
Perhaps you’ve met the nursery’s mascot, Frankie, when he goes to work with Eric.
In back, Eric grows some plants for the nursery in a hoop house.
A more protected homemade greenhouse harbors many of his grafted succulents. Later this summer, I’ll post web extras on how he built them, so you’re ready for winter!
Their home’s former owner was a mason who populated the yards with his creations, but he left his cinder block wall unfinished. Julie and Eric added on to it, layered it with stucco, painted it orange and added tiles.

On the ends, he turned cinder blocks around to hold succulents like Graptosedum ‘Blaze’.
They haven’t quite figured out the mason’s brick smoker but it makes great staging for succulent containers.
To pep up their living room, they stained the floor a deep flame orange to go along with the wall. When Julie lucked into a free chiminea, she pumped it up with spray .
With lots of pallets on hand, Julie built their coffee and chair. Isn’t that cool?
She even used one in the kitchen for their compost bin (outside to demo).
Julie keeps an out on craigslist, discards, or inexpensive finds to finish her furnishing with a few creative dabs of paint.
Eric’s a woodworker, too, like his Adirondack chair.
From a Bastrop mill, he bought a sawed off aromatic cedar log. Its patina richens with each sanding.

Central Texas Gardener

Central Texas Gardener