Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Imagine that instead of non-gardeners being forced to have a garden with their home, they were forced to have 500 gallon aquariums! What would they do?
Would they let all the aquarium fish die?
No grass here...all the fish have died.

Or would they keep it simple & beautiful, but with no fish swimming about?
A new home in our neighborhood...imagine the flowers that could grow here!

Would anyone ever think of getting rid of the fish and filling the aquarium with concrete?
When this person was caught selling cars from his home,
he made a hasty retreat.
It's still for sale.  

Perhaps the people would learn to love the little fish and add their own personal touches to the aquarium.
A beautiful little garden with some great landscaping styles
found here in my neighborhood.

And then there's the case where the new owner takes all the real fish and replaces them with mechanical look alikes. They swim and act like the real fish, but inside are just robots. The living plants that were once in the aquarium are all replaced with plastic and they too have little machines that make them sway with the current.  The new perfect aquarium costs $30,000 and for this, you never have to feed the little fish again!
Some non-gardeners are looking into synthetic lawns due to the drought.
Here's an example of one in our area. Indeed, the non-gardener has a beautiful, perfect lawn all year long!
Syn-lawns are guaranteed for 8 years. Many roofs are guaranteed for 20 and even 30 years!
Though perfect, I worry about the earthworms underneath and about replacing worn out syn-lawns.
Where do you put the old one?
By the way, I love the house, but the syn-lawn has me bewildered.

Yes, that 500 gallon aquarium could contain only water and that would be fine with some people!
The new 25th street Row House project. Minimalist gardening at its finest.
Buy hey, at least the earthworms have a chance to reach the surface.
Plus, the grass they've selected is native to the area and will have awesome blooms this Autumn. Still, must it be monoculture?
 It reminds me of the works of Donald Judd and his famous art out in Marfa, Texas.
And you can click here to see that they are very cool inside.

So what's the point of showing you all these bold new moves by non-gardeners trying to maintain lawns and gardens?
Rock rose is crawling over the fence to meet you.
 (Photo from my garden)
Believe or not, your non-gardening neighbors notice your garden.
They may even start to ask you questions.
Korean grass can take heat and humidity and feel and look ultra cool.
 (Photo of my garden)
You might introduce them to new ideas and 
show them how easy it is to grow native plants.
My newest little fish for the aquarium ~ Coreopsis 'Route 66'
You might even walk across the street and give them some of your plants.
I'm greatly influenced by the superb garden blogs I read and so are others.
The yellow flowers are a gift from a blogging friend.
We weren't born with garden trowels in our hands (at least some of us weren't) and somewhere along the way someone very nice taught us how to garden. They lead by example.
Maybe it's our turn to do the same. 
It's an exciting time for our neighbors to start gardening. Never have there been so many plants, so many garden styles, and so many garden blogs to help the beginner! I'm glad you are part of it! :0)
On a personal note,
today or tomorrow will mark the 99,999th pageview for my little garden blog here along the Texas Gulf Coast. When the counter turns to one hundred thousand I think I will faint with joy. I really can't believe it.
And it's all because of you.
Thank you for taking the time to visit Tropical Texana!
Happy Gardening,
~ My Xeric Garden ~


  1. We have a few bare gardens in our Clear lake neighborhood. It's as if the took the drought restrictions as permission to not maintain their gardens. I think the Syn lawn may be a Eco-friendly California thing.

  2. oh no! don't faint! I loved the idea of featuring the different gardens in your neighborhood. funnily enough I like the look of the monoculture of the wild grass in front of the row houses - it seems to suit them. That korean grass looks interesting, I will have to have a further look at that. Blogging definitely takes gardening to whole new level doesn't it?

  3. Lead by example indeed, there's always room to convert non gardening friends into gardening. Great analogy David, and well done on the blog! Always enjoy visiting :)

  4. I rather enjoyed this analogy! I just don't get synthetic grass or, in photos I've seen lately doing the rounds on FB, people paying to have dead grass spray-painted green!! To me that is just an abomination! We live with brown dying grass here for months every year, but I suppose in suburbs where it's usual to see green lawns, that would be an unthinkable option!

  5. David...That was a wonderfully enjoyable right you are. I love the little house with the adorable many fantastic ideas to borrow from that photo.

  6. I just looked and you're over 100,000!!!! Congratulations! You can get up off the floor now! ;) Very creative post! I often wonder if people actually see some of their yards. But there are some that I see that are very beautiful. I can't imagine having fake grass. You're right - when it wears out, I bet the soil is completely dead, if not toxic! I really like the look of that Korean grass. I may have to check into that one!

  7. Congrats David! You would now be considered legit in the blogger world:) But you were quality even before the label:) But nonetheless, it's a nice thing to have under the belt.

    I just want to let you know that you have me working on a bunch of posts from El Presidio. Those are forthcoming and will take a close look at the plants and spacing around the various grounds. So thanks for the garden ideas. I try to make it more interesting for the nongardening types but it doesn't always seem to work:) It's all about the birds and flowers for some:)

    Also great post today. Very creative take on lawn and landscaping. If I were one of those, I'd be the one that learned to like the fish and add on:) The rest of them, unfortuneately represent a good portion of our population....especially the concrete ones:) Hope you have a good Friday. School starts up for us this Monday. I'm ready to get back to work:)

    1. Hi Chris,
      Oh yes, I'd say you learned to like fish and add on quite well!
      To complete the analogy, there would be some that would trade out the 500 gallon aquarium for a 1,000 gallon saltwater system complete with living coral and rare tropical fish. These would be your garden bloggers!

  8. Never thought about gardening in a context of having an aquarium.
    I'm not very good with aquarium - they seemed to be having a high maintenance compared to a garden.
    Regardless - I like the way you put it - the fake lawn & robots and dead concrete jungle - they are all too real when it comes to gardening.

    1. Hi James,
      Thanks for stopping by all the way from Malaysia!
      Perhaps you meant ---they are all too fake...when it comes to gardening.
      I agree!

  9. What a creative bent to compare yards to aquariums! That synthetic lawn is just too funny. It just goes to show how much our culture loves its lawn! I do love when neighbors start asking questions and plants and seeds are shared. I haven't been gardening for long, but a little passion for some color (and for anything except the boring lawn and stock bushes) can go a long way. (And thankfully my luck with gardening has quite surpassed my luck with fish..)

  10. Congrats on that AMAZING number of pageviews - wow!

    You would not have believed the controversy that errupted here when it was suggested that we replace our school athletic fields with artificial turf. I have to say that I don't like the look of the artificial lawn at all!

    I agree that we all have to be gardening ambassadors for our neighbors. When I was a beginning gardener, a lovely woman named Paula gave me a tour of her garden and gave me a bunch of cuttings that still grow in my garden today. So now it is my turn to pass the post.

  11. David, your blog is great! I have to read it carefully because there are so many interesting posts!!
    Congratulations! I am going to link it!

  12. Great analogy! I love how you share examples from your neighborhood. In our neighborhood, we're one of the few that has anything even close to a garden. It would be sort of a sad post.

    Congratulations on the 100,000 page views!

  13. I love your analogy and examples, David! And congrats on your blogging milestone too.

  14. Great post! When I have more time I'll come back and read more. Love your garden! I was actually thinking of an idea to develop "garden" friends in my new neighborhood...maybe I'll send invitations out to neighbors for a "garden" party--but a REAL garden party where we share plants and lemonade and talk gardens! Wonder if anyone would come.

  15. Congratulations David! That's a terrific milestone.

    Those are great examples of the different gardens in your neighborhood. I like the minimalist garden because it works with the structures.


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

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