Drive-By Gardens: Waterwise front yard on Castle Hill

A Castle Hill charmer with a sky-blue door and modern front yard of native and adapted plants made me hit the brakes for a closer look.… Read More

The post Drive-By Gardens: Waterwise front yard on Castle Hill appeared first on Digging.

July 11, 2023

Cruising through the Castle Hill area of Old West Austin recently, I spotted this beautiful 1910 home with a sky-blue door and modern landscaping. I hit the brakes for a closer look.

The house sits atop a front yard terraced with Corten steel and board-formed concrete walls. A deep hellstrip mulched with gravel contains a grassy planting of bulletproof red yucca (Hesperaloe parviflora), Mexican feathergrass (Nassella tenuissima), woolly stemodia (Stemodia lanata), and whale’s tongue agave (Agave ovatifolia).

That whale’s tongue agave is a stunner, and harmoniously set off with woolly stemodia groundcover. No deer in this neighborhood, so the red yuccas look gorgeous with arched wands of coral flowers. And what a view! An artfully pruned heritage live oak frames the dome of the Texas Capitol.

Hummingbirds were darting from flower to flower, stealing sips of nectar and chasing each other off. I love how the whale’s tongue agave echoes the soft blue of the front door.

Floating steps make a right turn at a steel planter box dotted with small golden barrel cacti. Along the foundation, a steel terraced bed contains a frothy planting of sedge and palmetto — maybe silver saw?

The sedge continues across the right side of the yard. No traditional lawn at all, I think. The house faces southwest, which means the sedge receives pretty much a full day of sun. I’d love to know which variety it is.

I think this front yard is very well designed and appealing with a restrained palette of native and adapted plants. Plus the house itself is a Texas charmer. Bravo!

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Digging Deeper

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance; simply click this link and ask to be added. The Season 7 lineup can be found here.

All material © 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Drive-By Gardens: Waterwise front yard on Castle Hill appeared first on Digging.

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