What are your favorite plants?
Agastache is my favorite –I just like it because it is low maintenance, the hummingbirds love it, and the rabbits don’t eat it. My second favorite is Penstemon. I also like Salvia (Sage) and Ornamental Oreganos, because they are low maintenance and easy to grow.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your garden?
The other thing I find satisfying and interesting and look forward to are the random plants that just start happening. For instance, the Salvia farinacea that is in the middle of the garden — I did not buy it and I did not plant it.
The same goes with one of the Agastaches. It showed up last year and I let it grow. It bloomed this year. Something crossed with it, similar to the ‘Desert Sunrise’ that I planted. It is pinker and has a different smell to it, with a hint of turpentine. The rabbits don’t bother it.
What benefits have you seen by creating this garden?
The biggest benefit I see is a lot of wildlife activity. Before I did this I never saw a hummingbird. Now they hang out nine months of the year and only go home for the winter.
We’ve got birds, bees, toads, frogs, an occasional snake or two, and lots of bunnies. At first, I would plant things that would be gone the next day, so I would look for rabbit resistant plants. Everything I plant is rabbit resistant or has a fragrance or smell that rabbits don’t like.
My backyard is shaded, so I have to follow a totally different strategy there, but overall, I try to use less pesticide and more organic fertilizer and create a better environment.
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has designated my yard as a certified backyard wildlife habitat. The program is affiliated with the National Wildlife Federation, where people can fill out paperwork, send photos in and get Texas Wildscape Certification.