Someone with less vision might have chosen to let a breathtaking view of downtown Austin do all the talking. But Ruthie Burrus has vision. After her house was built — in a style that references the simple stone houses German immigrants in the 1800s built in the Texas Hill Country — she chose to enhance her backyard’s stunning view with a frame of native blooming plants and succulents, mixed with some Texas favorites and a few roses.
“My garden,” Ruthie says, “is all about pollinators, native plants, and taking advantage of views and natural surroundings. We live on top of a hill overlooking downtown Austin, the Texas Capitol Building, and the University of Texas tower. Our property is both a Certified Wildlife Habitat and a Monarch Way Station, so it’s filled with sunflowers, salvias, lantanas, pavonia, Turk’s cap, and bee balm — lots of food for pollinators! We also have a rainwater collection system that harvests rain off our roofs and gutters and stores it in a 10,000-gallon galvanized tank. It is wonderful to be able to water flowerbeds with rainwater instead of chemically treated city water.“
Anchoring one end of the back garden is a charming garden “haus” designed by Ruthie and constructed of stone and antique doors, old windows, and recycled roofing material. It has been featured in Southern Living magazine, and if we’re lucky with the timing, we’ll see it smothered in pink ‘Peggy Martin’ roses.
Ruthie’s garden “haus” in Southern Living, April 2017
Out front, a steep hillside has been planted as a wildflower meadow, showcasing native wildflower annuals and perennials in the spring, native lantana in the summer, and native grasses in the fall and winter.
We look forward to sharing Ruthie’s garden with you at Austin Fling! If you’re a garden blogger and want to snag one of our remaining few spots on the tour — a great value at only $275 USD — click here for registration info.