Garden Photo of the Day

Designing a Garden in Austin

Making a space that works with the local climate

Photo: Greg Thomas

Garden designer Sarah Yant shared these images of a garden that her company worked on in Austin, Texas.

Photo: Greg Thomas

When the young owners undertook a complete remodel of their home in Barton Creek, they called on Eden Garden Design to update the exterior spaces. After the exterior brick received a coat of white paint and a new front door and windows, it was time to address the entry to the home with a makeover of the existing courtyard.

Photo: Greg Thomas

We created entry and courtyard areas with nods to both the Mediterranean and the Hill Country in its whimsical plant palette: fragrant rosemary, lavender, and lush roses intermingle with drought-tolerant beaked yucca (Yucca rostrata, Zones 6–10) and Wheeler’s sotol (Dasylirion wheeleri, Zones 6–10).

Photo: Greg Thomas

‘Pink Parade’ red yucca (Hesperaloe ‘Pink Parade’, Zones 6–10).

Photo: Greg Thomas

Closely sheared creeping fig vine (Ficus pumila, Zones 7–10) covers the courtyard columns and one wall of the home. Water-saving drip irrigation is utilized throughout.

Photo: Greg Thomas

A grove of Texas redbud (Cercis canadensis var. texensis, Zones 6–9) trees define the entry and frame the home. LED landscape lighting highlights the grove, providing nighttime drama and navigation.

Photo: Greg Thomas

We designed a custom-cut lueders (a kind of limestone) pathway to provide a modern entry experience to the home. Elegant pea gravel surrounds the stepping-stones and serves as mulch throughout the garden.

Photo: Greg Thomas

A custom steel arbor, covered with fragrant star jasmine vines (Trachelospermum jasminoides, Zones 8–10), provides an easy and casual dining area.


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View Comments


  1. nwphillygardener 12/17/2019

    Spectacular! I love how the creeping fig vine covering brick surfaces replaces tautly clipped evergreen hedges of more conventional garden schemes.
    And you can't make the allusion to a classic french gravel dining patio more complete than adding a bottle of red wine and breadsticks to the carefully staged tablescape, LOL.

    1. EdenGardenDesign 12/17/2019

      Thank you! We love the feeling that the creeping fig vine brings to this gravel courtyard.

  2. User avater
    treasuresmom 12/17/2019

    How very lovely!

    1. EdenGardenDesign 12/17/2019

      Thank you!

  3. BTucker9675 12/17/2019

    Every part of this is beautiful! How they must enjoy living in the house and that wonderful garden. The gates, fencing and trellises are all so artistic. Your company did a spectacular job!

    1. EdenGardenDesign 12/17/2019

      Thank you! The gravel courtyard has so many purposes and is a great flex space for dining, entertaining, play area for kids, etc.

      1. nwphillygardener 12/17/2019

        Have you mixed any smaller fines with the pea gravel to prevent the displacement of foot falls and loud crunching sounds when walking over it? My understanding is the French use a limestone gravel that is not rounded like pea gravel and which compacts for a tighter surface.

        1. EdenGardenDesign 12/18/2019

          This garden is located in western Travis County (Texas), part of the Edwards Plateau, where shallow caliche soils are underlain by limestone bedrock. This provides a stable base for well-compacted pea gravel, which is the only material we used here. These conditions also necessitated heavily improving the soil in planting areas.

  4. Cenepk10 12/17/2019


    1. EdenGardenDesign 12/18/2019

      Thank you!

  5. User avater
    SimpleSue 12/17/2019

    Perfection! You guys do nice garden design! I really like that the Jasmine planted around the seating area where the fragrance can be enjoyed. Oh I wish I could grow Creeping Fig in zone 6b, and use it as nicely as you have.

    1. EdenGardenDesign 12/18/2019

      The jasmine close to the entry of the home does make for a magical experience when it's in bloom!

  6. LauraJaneS 12/17/2019

    Very stylish! Thanks for sharing. Also appreciate the superior photo quality. Brava!

    1. EdenGardenDesign 12/18/2019

      Thank you LauraJaneS! Our photographer is Greg Thomas with Opt Photography in Austin.

  7. User avater
    pattyeckels 12/17/2019

    It´s beautiful. But I have to ask: how do you keep the creeping fig from going everywhere? I planted it here in the south about 6 years ago and it has gotten out of hand! Climbed 20-40 foot trees and going through all my plantings. And is dropping figs! I keep pulling it out and it just continues to gooooo. Lol

    1. EdenGardenDesign 12/18/2019

      The creeping fig vine does need regular maintenance, several times a year, to keep it in check. We think of shearing it as a labor of love!

      1. User avater
        pattyeckels 12/18/2019

        I should have watched it more closely, but just moved to the south and had no idea! Lol

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