Chai
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 03:26 pm
oh oh, I know the word I've been looking for...a Courtyard!

You know, a courtyard is paved but people put all kinds of crap in them to make them look nice.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 03:36 pm
hey, wait a minute!

what about all the people that live in cities that live in brownstones and townhouses that are right on the street? When thy walk out the front door, they are standing on the sidewalk, with a street about 6 feet away.

Don't their homes get the heat in the summer? The paved "courtyard" area would be 13 feet away from the house.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 03:38 pm
people in townhouses hav hhhHHHHOt summers :-)

courtyards can be byoooootiful. we have brick with raised beds in the backyard. quite nice, yes.
0 Replies
 
Tico
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 03:48 pm
Very beautiful (although I'm more a naturalistic type). It would be good to include something shady -- a tree, a gazebo, etc. Also, container plants dry out fast in the heat, so need careful watching for watering, possibly twice a day. And because they don't get the benefit of earthworms and soil nutrients, you'll need to get to know your fertilizers.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 03:49 pm
dagmaraka wrote:
people in townhouses hav hhhHHHHOt summers :-)

courtyards can be byoooootiful. we have brick with raised beds in the backyard. quite nice, yes.


All right then! Courtyard it is!

A roman courtyard with Eva posing on a pedestal, and a fountain of a little boy tinkling in a bucket. That's class.

so, is all this courtyard business expensive?
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 03:50 pm
tree, i vote for a tree!
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 03:52 pm
Courtyards tend to be <not always> fairly high maintenance as they require very precise plantings.

They are certainly a fabulous look, but it's more plant maintenance than I could cope with.

The hamburgers have a sorta courtyard thing in front of their house. The plants in planters have to be moved around because they get too hot/they need more sun .... then the bricked part has to be hosed down regularly as it gets hot ... lovely but a lotta work.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 04:06 pm
yeah. nothing will be without work. but courtyard may be less of a direct 'gardening' type of work and chai may be willing to put up with moving planters around, hosing it down, etc... as long as she doesn't have to get on her knees and dig.
0 Replies
 
dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 04:09 pm
http://www3.uakron.edu/csaa/Pompeii/Vettii/pix/garden%20gen%20fr%20SW.JPG

i suggest you prolong the roof, put some of them slopes in, some shrubbery, maybe gravel... statue here and there, some bird fountains, and you're all set.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 04:11 pm
Next thing the Canadians will be outlawing donuts.

A shady tree, live oaks are good as are pawlonias in the south. Then, beneath the shade of the tree, plant some really tough shade loving stuff like ivy or pachysandra and put some shade flowers in there. Youll need an irrigation system in Texas.
Houston, oy.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 06:55 pm
OK, gardening snob that I am, I only did a quick scan of the other posts and I think there's good advice in there. I'm a big lover of courtyard gardens, you can often eliminate grass and create an intimate living space. Chai, since you are in Texas, I suggest you do a little research into Arabic or Persian style gardens, the climate is similar and courtyards were/are common. I stronger recommend a solar fountain that recycles water as a cooling feature. It can be both functional and beautiful.

We've discussed xeriscape gardening around here before so I won't go into details, but if you look up "xeriscape plants texas" on the web you should find plenty of info and you will not need irrigation. If a plant needs watering beyond it's first year, it' the wrong plant for you. I attached a rather formal version of what we are talking about. If you want to see more pictures go to Google, hit "images" and type in things like "courtyard gardens","persian gardens" or "alambra gardens".
http://www.andygilham.com/granada/granada%20218.jpg
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 07:33 pm
This is interesting, Chai!

I know absolutely zilch about native plants in Texas, but in your situation I'd be going with natives that survive well in the climate & environment & your soil type. (The natives that appeal to you, of course!)
My backyard faces n/w (the hottest, windiest aspect I could possibly have.). And we've had years & years of drought, along with water restrictions. My solution, for an almost vacant backyard when I moved here, was to go with hardy natives that could best cope with the stress. Along with lavenders, a feijoa tree that's thriving, lots of bottle brushes & hardy, flowering ground covers, a mandarine tree, etc ... I'm really glad I did that, because they're all thriving. And the birds love the natives! My "lawn" dies back every summer & bounces back each autumn when the rains come again. I can live with that!
Anyway, to me, it is much nicer to have plants that really suit the situation (& attract the native birds!) than to struggle with more "exotic" plants that would require heavy duty maintainance to look half reasonable in the tough seasons.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 07:54 pm
Gardening with Texas Natives

It must have been fate. I was looking for something else and found the above site. It has some interesting ideas. The title makes it appear to be English style gardening, but it's really about gardening in Texas.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 08:04 pm
Really, interesting, Green Witch. If I lived in Texas I'd go with those ideas! Very Happy And grasses! I love native grasses, too!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 08:26 pm
... another thought, Chai (& then I'll butt out, I promise! Can't help myself, I'm afraid! Embarrassed ) In a garden similar to the ideas described in GW's link, but with Oz natives, obviously..) in the "front-ish" layers I've included herbs like chives (very pretty!) marjoram, & Italian parsley which happily thrive amongst the lavenders & ground covers. Serves me very well in the kitchen & I simply don't have the space for a separate vegie/herb garden. Just a thought, anyway ...
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 11:17 pm
Um...didja notice how many TREES were in Green Witch's photo, Chai? Huh, didja?
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 11:28 pm
Ok, well, I only skimmed these pages......

I agree you need some shade, where a tree could cast shade mid-day to afternoon on your house. Also agree with cement and stone making your home hot. Remember, palnts grow anywhere and even with stone on the ground, weeds will grow.

I don't really get why you think that planter gardening is different than garden-bed gardening.... you not only will have to up-keep the plants, but you'll have to maintain the raised beds.

Anyway, in austin (with sun), you can grow mediterranian herbs and plants like rosemary, curry plant, mints, etc.

The only other thing I could suggest is a gravel area designed sort of japanese-style.
0 Replies
 
littlek
 
  1  
Reply Tue 14 Mar, 2006 11:29 pm
Ornamental grasses are a great idea, MsOlga!
0 Replies
 
 

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