Today we’re visiting Jerry Hilker’s garden.
My family and I have lived in Corpus Christi, Texas, for about 14 years now. We built a home about four years ago. The clay soil was very compact, and we started from scratch. The garden beds are designed to attract pollinating insects and birds. We made habitats for honeybees, hummingbirds, and gulf fritillary, monarch, and swallowtail butterflies.
It’s a continuous project, and we all enjoy the cut flowers, lavender, and veggies the garden provides, as well as getting to know the beneficial insects and birds that it attracts. I really enjoy following Fine Gardening and wanted to share our developing yard.
Bright flowers and lush plantings make this garden great habitat for humans, pollinators, and birds alike. (Love the sign over the bird house!)
Vigorous vines turn this structure into a cool, shady retreat from the Texas heat. On the right, I spy a hammock that looks like a perfect place to relax and enjoy the garden, and climbing up on the left side of this image is a pipevine (Aristolochia), which is both beautiful and interesting and is the only host for the beautiful pipevine swallowtail butterfly.
Close-up of a flower on the pipevine. There are many species of pipevine, and all are suitable food sources for the pipevine swallowtail. This amazing butterfly is found over a wide swath of North America, and growing this beautiful and unusual vine is the best way to get the chance to see them in your garden.
Another view of the garden, looking out from under a tall angel’s trumpet (Brugmansia sp.), which will be a fragrant wonder once it comes into flower. Brugmansia are usually grown as annuals in cold climates, but around Zone 8 or 9 they can make it through the winter.
This garden doesn’t just provide food for pollinators. These tomatoes and basil are looking great.
Have a garden you’d like to share?
Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!
To submit, send 5-10 photos to GPOD@finegardening.com along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.
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