The left fence border
Left fence border in April 2020, dominated by our huisache tree
Along all of the length of the fence between our home
and the neighbors to our left runs our unimaginatively named left fence
border. At the front end, it swings around for just a few feet to also
buffer the front-facing fence – that section is called (you guessed
it) the front fence border, but it is too small to warrant its own
page, so is included here. The border completes (or starts, depending on
your point of view) the line of garden that separates our ugly bermudagrass
lawn from the functional fence that hems us in. The line separating the
border from the yard swerves around a bit, giving the plantable area a
maximum depth of about seven feet at the point where we planted our Texas
persimmon, and down to about three feet at the narrowest. I'm sure that
line will change through the years (it already has a few times), as my plant
lust gets the better of me and I need more space.
The border will eventually be defined
primarily by its trees. We planted several, all still fairly small. Near
the front fence is a Virginia pine that we
purchased as a winter house plant. It should do OK here, so I gave it a
home outside when it had served its purpose indoors. It stayed quite small
for a few years, but then entered a growth spurt and is starting to look
like a tree now. Its mature size is almost certainly too large for the
space it's in, but that's for later worry.
Next in line to the right, just behind our seedling nursery area, is
in the lawn area just outside of the border, is
a Texas mountain laurel, grown from seed
I collected from the campus of Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio; it bloomed
as a three-year-old plant, and should continue to grow into a small tree.
Continuing along the line, there's a Hercules club,
a thorny native with wildlife benefits, and also a sizeable tree at maturity;
followed by a showy senna (also a butterfly
The middle of the border is reserved for the Texas
persimmon, a small tree that I admired when visiting Mercer Arboretum in
Houston and tracked down at a local native nursery. We hoped it would eventually
produce fruit, but later found out ours is a male specimen, so no such luck.
Further to the right follows a huisache, a
ferny-leaved acacia tree that should give us yellow puffballs to admire in early
The border is rounded out by two fig trees in the back corner that were
among the earliest plantings in our brand-new garden. The Celeste and Brown
Turkey varieties have been finnicky, giving us a nice harvest some years
and barely any fruit to snack on in others – but they're always nice to
look at as they leaf out in spring.
In between all these trees and shrubs are many herbaceous
plants and smaller shrubs (some of which die back to the ground when we have
harder freezes). Among the more notable are a blue butterfly clerodendrum that fights for
space with a 'Big Momma' Turk's cap, a Texas sage, many rain lilies, and a
variety of lower-growing plants that can handle some drought in the left end
of the border.
This expanse is also home to several sections where I have established
well-draining soil raised above the lawn level to grow on the various seedlings
I start every winter. For the most part, seedlings live there for a year, to be moved
the next spring to a permanent spot in the garden (or, for extras, to be offered
in my occasional plant sales).
Currently growing in our left fence border
Currently growing in the left fence nursery area - zone A
Currently growing in the left fence nursery area - zone B
Currently growing in the left fence nursery area - zone C
Currently growing in the left fence nursery area - zone D
Currently growing in the front fence nursery area - zone A
Currently growing in the front fence nursery area - zone B
Currently growing in the front fence nursery area - zone C
Some older photos of this area
The photos below were taken in November 2017, shortly after digging the new
border and installing its first plant citizens.
April 17, 2022