Garden Photo of the Day

The Harvey Garden in Texas

From dying grass to garden paradise

a large white flower growing in the middle of smaller pink flowers

My name is Ryan Harvey, and I have been gardening with my wife, Kristin, and our Yorkie, Emmitt, for eight years in Austin, Texas, Zone 8b. We focus mainly on edibles, perennials, native plants, and enjoying views of the garden and wildlife. It all began with one garden bed in the midst of dying grass, already dead clay soil, and invasive running bamboo that threatened to take over our house itself. Years later, our one-sixth-acre lot has over 100 trees on it, multiple vegetable beds, and countless native and adapted perennial plants. Paths connect various outdoor rooms we have created around our property, each of which is a seating area from which to enjoy our National Wildlife Federation–certified habitat. Sharing our garden with others is one of our great joys, and we spend as much time outside in it as we can.

The birds, insects, and other animals, including our kale-loving dog, give us more than enough entertainment. Since most of our fruit-producing trees and shrubs are young, we are excited to begin harvesting this bounty in the coming years, sharing it with our outdoor wildlife friends, of course.

a large white flower growing in the middle of smaller pink flowersA huge, fragrant flower of Datura inoxia (Zones 9–10 or as an annual) is backed up by the magenta flowers of rock rose (Pavonia lasiopetala, Zones 7–9).

Gingko tree with yellow foliage in fallA gingko tree (Gingko biloba, Zones 5–9) is dressed in gold for the fall.

monarch butterfly on a bright pink zinniaA monarch butterfly sips nectar from a zinnia (Zinnia elegans ‘Will Rogers’, annual).

wide view of more plants and beds in the gardenThe garden is full of life, providing beauty and food for human and nonhuman residents.

small dog with a kale leaf in their mouthOne of the nonhuman residents is Emmitt, who is a huge fan of kale.

mulched paths winding through garden bedsPaths wind through the garden beds, with everything thickly mulched to conserve water and suppress weeds.

close up of banana plant with small fruitAn unusual banana variety, Musa ‘Truly Tiny’ (Zones 8–11) is an extremely small version of the classic Cavendish banana you are used to buying at the grocery store. The small size means it can be grown to produce fruit even in climates where you need to overwinter it indoors.

homegrown salad with edible purple flowersThis delicious-looking salad was harvested entirely from the garden, with edible passionflower (Passiflora incarnata, Zones 6–10) blooms making it beautiful as well as tasty.

view of garden between tall growing plantsThis is a lush and productive garden space.

If you’d like to see more from this garden, check out Ryan and Kristin’s Instagram: @theharveygarden


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    user-7007816 01/17/2023

    Congratulations on a beautiful, productive space. Thanks for sharing.

  2. gardenconcierge 01/17/2023

    Congratulations on transforming your garden into a beautiful oasis.

  3. User avater
    treasuresmom 01/17/2023

    Oh, my. I love your gingko.

  4. btucker9675 01/17/2023

    Emmitt is obviously a Master Gardener! He, with your help, has created a terrific garden.

  5. User avater
    simplesue 01/18/2023

    Your garden just pulls me into it- I want to walk around all those planting areas and explore everything you are growing!
    I like what you've done here- such a happy place for humans, dogs and animals!

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