Garden Galleries

Beds & Borders

Gardens beds come in so many styles – they’re all as unique as the individual who created them. Here are some of our favorites, all found in the San Antonio area.

Going Irrigation-Free in Monte Vista

In San Antonio’s historic districts the city’s guidelines may specify landscape rules much like HOA's. You can still have a WaterSaver Landscape. Remember when these homes were built no one had irrigation.

Learning from La Cantera

Retail landscaping has historically depended upon heavy watering. The Shops at La Cantera has created a showplace that’s green, but not wet. Landscape changes are saving over 6 million gallons per year. And the cooling water features use recycled water.

The Rights and Wrongs of Rock

Crushed granite, pea gravel, and river rock: these small rocks are used to replace the entire lawn. But they can be a recipe for reflected heat in summer and clogged storm drains — and the bare finish may alarm neighbors wary of the aesthetic.

Yard Art

The classic whimsy of pink flamingos or staid elegance of stone lions, a little yard art, like the right accessory, can make a landscape. Consider scale, but the rules are not hard and fast. What’s most important is that it makes you smile.

Perfect Pathways to a Beautiful Landscape

A trip through a beautiful landscape can be a series of stepping stones, a wild path through vegetation, crushed granite or a happy medium. Perfect pathways through your landscape make the trip that much more enjoyable.

Relaxing Greens And Grays

This landscape was lovingly designed by the homeowner. A color scheme of greens and greys creates a soothing atmosphere. When using a monochromatic design, think about the plant forms and decorative elements to create additional interest.

Bugs That Break It Down

The unsung heroes of the insect world are the decomposers. Decomposers help break down and consume organic materials, such as rotting plants, old wood, manure, dead insects or dead animals.

Bugs That Eat Other Bugs

Of all of the species of insects on the earth, 98% are helpful. One way insects (and spiders) are helpful is by eating other insects that are considered pests. Take a look at some of these predatory garden creatures.


Butterflies are like living jewels gliding from flower to flower across the landscape collecting nectar and spreading pollen. Their colorful wings contrast with the flowers and green leaves, providing a cheerful, yet silent reminder of nature’s beauty.

Become a Citizen Scientist

Each February Cornell University is hoping you will become a bird nerd and participate in the annual Great Backyard Bird Count international survey. Count birds anywhere you encounter them. Many of our favorite local birds rely on dense brush for nesting, resting and feeding.

Pesky Bugs

Most insects are beneficial and critical to a functioning ecosystem. There is a small percentage of insects (about 2% of all known species) that are considered pests by gardeners. They can damage plants and cause frustration. Let’s take a look at some.


When we think of pollinators, butterflies and honey bees are usually the first that come to mind. But, there are many other creatures that move pollen from one place to another! Without pollinators, many flowers and fruits would not exist.

Early Bloomers

There are just certain sights – like freshly sprouted leaves, tiny newborn critters and small pops of blossom color – that tell us warm, spring weather is just around the corner. Take a look at these early spring bloomers and see which ones you can spot first!


There’s something about fresh spring roses, a highway awash in bluebonnets and flocks of spirited birds returning from the south that energizes the soul. Spring can never come fast enough!

Stars of Early Spring

Many plants wait for longer days before putting on spring growth. These early stars will bloom even with a touch of frost. Enjoy in early spring while you can; once the onslaught of summer returns, these delicacies will vanish.

Summer Superstars

Take a look at some summer superstar plants for the South Texas landscape that are drought friendly.

Take A Look At These

In San Antonio, you have a wide range of plant choices that will not need much water. Here are but a few.

Garden Tours: Dana’s Reseeding Annual Beds

Outdoor conservation manager, Dana Nichols, describes her landscape style as “informally casual with neat edges.” Get a peek at her beds that incorporate perennials with reseeding annuals.