Magnificent Murphy Gardens: 3 Steps to the Perfect Garden!

Rolling Ridge neighbor Vanessa DeVary makes gardening look easy.   She has lived here less than a year and has already established a “blooming” flower garden.  Here are her before and after photos to prove it.





An engineer by profession, Vanessa uses a “three-step system” to creating her botanical masterpiece.

1.  Use native plants.  Texas weather can be harsh, especially during the hottest summer months.  By selecting flowers that are accustomed to the climate, you can create a low maintenance and drought tolerant garden.  Vanessa doesn’t use anything other than a standard weed and seed mixture to boost her garden’s growth.  There are many varieties, colors, shapes and sizes of native flowering plants.  A few plants Vanessa recommends are Turk’s caps, Salvias, Sedums and Knock Out Roses. is a great resource to use for finding native plants.









2.  Perennials, Perennials, Perennials.  If you have ever shopped for plants, you know that is easy to spend a pretty penny only to have the plants die at end of the season.  By purchasing perennials, you can have a beautiful garden year after year.  This minimizes the amount of money spent each year on the garden.  Vanessa includes a few annuals in pots and small sections of her garden to add an additional splash of color.  Budget tip:  Vanessa suggests purchasing and planting evergreens in the fall and the flowering perennials in the spring.  This helps manage the gardening costs by splitting the payments into two.  She also suggests trading plants with other gardeners as a way to add new plants and save money.




3.  Plant in threes and fives.  The trick to getting that professionally landscaped look to your flower beds is to pick a color combination, then group plants together using three or five of same plants.  Vanessa likes her garden to have a “cottage” like feel so she mixes blues, purples, pinks and yellows.  She leans towards flowering plants that attract butterflies and hummingbirds.  Here is an example of how she groups flowers together.  Tip: For continuous color, group together plants that flower at different times of the season.


Vanessa encourages gardeners to have no fear.  If a plant doesn’t work in one section of the garden, move it to another section or give it away.

In real estate, curb appeal is important.  When I ask buyers what they want in their next home, they list curb appeal as one of their top three requirements.  Great curb appeal can lead to selling your home quicker and getting top dollar.  Your landscaping does not have to be elaborate and expensive, but it does have to compliment the home.  A good landscape architect can help you achieve a great garden.  See the list of landscapers in the “Referrals for the Hood” section of this blog.




Thank you, Vanessa, for welcoming me into your beautiful yard!


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