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Welcome to A Writer’s Garden where writers who are gardeners or just love gardens will be sharing their garden and flower stories, as well as a bit about their writing. Today’s writer/gardener guest is Kathy Bryson, who is talking about gardening inside out for Texas. Welcome, Kathy!


Building Foundations

by Kathy Bryson

Life had been particularly challenging for everyone lately. Compared to many, yet another move on my part in the past year was no big deal. But when I ended up working from home at the onset of the pandemic, I had to take steps to settle in and settle down! Naturally I turned to the garden.

When you discuss gardening in the Hill Country of Texas, you hear a lot about drainage. Vigorous thunderstorms roll by between days of ninety degree weather and the soil is compacted clay. Water puddles, so houses are built on elevated lots and foundation issues are not uncommon.

Rain gardens then are the perfect solution. They go by different names – bioretention, mound planting, hugelkulter – but the basic idea is a sort-of inside out garden bed. Instead of filling a raised bed with dirt and topping it with mulch, you put mulch or even gravel down first, then layer in dirt. This creates a sort of pocket where water can collect ac act as a reservoir for plants. Considering that Texas temperatures don’t get below ninety from May through Oct, this opens up opportunity for a much wider range of plants, as long as they don’t mind wet feet.

So I started with the damp spot near the front door. Pulling back the grass was easy.


Someone had laid out a flower bed there earlier and the St. Augustine grass has simple put out runners over it. It hadn’t even rooted through the plastic weed barrier.

Laying out the bricks, mulch, then dirt was harder but only because those things aren’t light.

Vinca or periwinkles added the final touch of charm.

I suspect the backyard beds won’t be as easy. There’s a bit of a slope there to contend with. But I can’t wait to get in and start digging!


About the Writer / Gardener:

Kathy Bryson is an award-winning author of tongue-in-cheek fantasy. She’d like to say she’s climbed tall mountains, rappelled off cliffs, and saved small children, but actually she tends to curl up and read, is a life-long advocate of Ben & Jerry’s, and caters to 2 spoiled cats. She works regularly with student writing, so she can claim to have saved a few term papers.

Her most recent release is the 5th installment in the adventures of a hapless med student caught between the twisted worlds of the supernatural and medical science.

In Giovanni Haunts the Hospital, Giovanni accidentally calls up Prohibition-era Giovanni Haunts The Hospitalgangster ghosts trying to locate his elderly missing patient. Can he survive rotations and graduate, or will they take him for a little ride?

Book link


Connect with Kathy at: Facebook  Twitter – website