I am a born again NARGS member having rejoined after giving up my membership a couple of years ago on retiring and moving to Austin Texas. When I retired I sold my summer place in Shenandoah Virginia where I had gardened and been an active member of NARGS for some15 years or so.
I didn't keep up my membership because it never occurred to me that I would be able to rock garden in hot, dry, and droughty central Texas notorious for thin clayey soils over limestone.
But the house we eventually bought was very close to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Wanting to know more about native plants I took a weekend classe there and eventually became a horticultural volunteer.
One of the display gardens at Lady Bird is a raised bed “rock garden” full of native xerophytic perennials and sub shrubs. Eventually it dawned on me that a rock garden might actually be possible if I completely changed my way of thinking. Raised beds and berms of gritty soils offer some real possibilities it seems. I have to admit, though, that I will miss the sandy loam and the rhodos, daphnes, trilliums, hellebores, and all the other beauties I was able to grow in Shenandoah.
So when I got on the internet to start the research I naturally first went to the NARGS site. I was delighted to find very active forums including one on Desert “Alpines.” Now I’m off and running, making plans to convert my backyard, about 4000 sq ft of largely St Augustine, into a Xeriscape focusing on berms of native and adapted plants. The seed ex, scouting out nurseries, and botanic garden visits are already starting to fill my imagination.
Let me hear if any of you folks garden in Central Texas. I would love to see your gardens.