Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Katie Ruellia would be my pick if I had pavers with a sunny location.

I do all my own landscaping. Here's what part of our front yard looked like in 2008. As you can see, the St. Augustine grass in this part of the yard is weak due to constant shade and foot traffic. I got all these sandstone slabs for $50 (that's cheap) since my neighbor never used them and was moving to another town. The landscaping was nice, but a bit austere for my tastes. I wanted some green in between the stones.

 It's 2011 and I still  have lots of shade in this part of the yard. So I've waited for the rare, shady natives to show up. After 3 years, I'm finally seeing a lot more green.

These are all native grasses that can stand foot traffic. They're tough little plants!

You would think from these close ups that the wait is over and that all is green between the stones.

Look! Even some moss has taken hold. It's starting to look like a miniature Japanese garden.
But the wait is not over.

As I back up the camera, you can see that native plants have take over about 40%.

And even less in the larger areas. But gardeners have a lot of patience when it comes to these things.
All of these plants are self-seeding and there's one thing I'm certain about Mother Nature - she abhors a vacuum!
While I continue to wait, the flat stones look just fine with gravel. The most unusual aspect in all this is the fact that so many insects are found in this 'barren' landscape. Even some tiny, native ants have moved in.
In fact, it's a very busy place when you look closely!

Any native ant is a good guy since they fill all the niches and leave nothing for the imported fire ants.
Most are harmless like sugar ants and don't even sting.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope this gives you some ideas.
David/ :-)


  1. I like the look. The grass will take over. You can have some of my native weeds:) that have taken over the fruit and fern gardens:) There were more reports tonight on Texas and the drought. Are you guys going to survive or is the end of the world coming? Hope you are having fun outside. I'd much rather have this heat than that stupid freeze. Everything looks so green right now!

  2. REALLY like the stone paved area. You know that is my kind of gardening! I have that ruellia seeding everywhere but also erigeron, native skull cap, dahlberg daisy. They do add a nice patch of color to the landscape. Of course, I also have lot of weeds!

  3. I love plants in between pavers, but you certainly are patient! Fun that you found so much going on under your feet, so to speak!

  4. So funny, we have all those and I try to pull them up! David, you have given me a new appreciation for "native grasses." :D

  5. I thought about suggesting Frogfruit but it would overrun the pavers in no time. I'll have to look around and see whether I have any natives that would work. Lemon thyme isn't native but it loves to grow in gravel!

  6. i have that stuff growing all in my flowerbeds. I thought they were weeds and apparently so does my HOA because they complain about the "weeds" in my flowerbed all the time! ha!


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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