Thursday, January 25, 2018

Jamison Garden is a gift to the neighborhood

For how many of us does this ring true?

Austin gardener Colleen Jamison says, "For years I traveled for work, and my pattern was to work very hard all week so I could reward myself on the flights home by poring over garden magazines. That's how I learned about design! And I listened to the gardening shows on the radio religiously every weekend. Now when I travel for fun, local gardens are always on the agenda." 

Colleen's garden can be on YOUR agenda if you attend Austin Garden Bloggers Fling this May. Colleen started creating her garden when she and her husband moved into their charming ranch home in 1994. I used to walk past her house every day in the early 2000s while taking my son to school, and I'd slow down and study all the details because I was a young gardener then myself, and I saw much to learn from Colleen's garden. Now I'm excited that we can share it with you!

"I started gardening to enhance the curb appeal of the house," Colleen says, "but it quickly grew into a laboratory. And a creative outlet. And an exercise in problem solving. As I learned more, I wanted to try to grow every native plant or adapted I could get my hands on." 

Colleen has not only created a welcoming, comfortable garden retreat for herself and her husband, but she's extended her green touch to a weedy median strip that divides her street, transforming it into a low-water oasis with benches for the use of neighbors and passersby. 

She clearly enjoys a challenge. "I wanted to see if I could garden successfully in the worst of the worst conditions. The median had terrible soil, was covered in weeds, browsed nightly by deer, and had no irrigation. Little by little, a garden emerged." 

Today the weedy median is a public promenade through masses of Mexican feathergrass, under an allee of crepe myrtles, with other super-tough plants that thrive with little care.