Andrew Ong and Jared Goza have been into plants and gardening since they were kids. When they bought their house on the east side, it needed a full landscaping overhaul. This huge project became an ongoing gardening obsession, so they decided to share on Instagram to inspire others. With over 2,000 followers the instagrammers strive for an English-style garden with Texas-friendly plants. Andrew has developed a love of Roses and other flowering plants. While Jared focuses on native plants, houseplants and design. Together they focus on pollinator-friendly, sustainable, organic gardening. They say, having more garden and less lawn, is better for pollinators, wildlife and your water bill. You can check out their Instagram @GaysWhoGarden and their new Youtube Channel for any gardening tips you might have.
Andrew’s Top Flowers for Central Texas:
Rose – That’s right, you too can be a rosarian in Central Texas. Roses have a bad reputation as tricky, difficult plants, but many varieties do well here. Try Belinda’s Dream, Life of the Party and Firefighter for beautiful flowers and great fragrances. They do best with some afternoon shade.
Zinnia – You might be thinking of the basic zinnias of the past, but there are so many unique and beautiful varieties of these heat tolerant flowers these days that will draw a kaleidoscope of butterflies to your garden. Newer varieties can effortlessly bloom till first frost. Easy to grow from seed!
Cosmos – These beauties almost thrive on neglect. If you’re looking for a way to get that cottage-look and want to save a little extra money while doing so, sow these seeds in a sunny area and they’ll bloom for you early spring to first frost.
Gomphrena – Also known as globe amaranth, these beautiful globular flowerheads will bask in the full sun while most other plants seem to have gone dormant. They are deer resistant, come in many different shades of color and also are very easy to start from seed.
Drummond’s Phlox – Another Texas Native! A must-have for your cut flower garden that can be started from seed. Once established they will be drought tolerant. Provide a little shade and they will reward you with beautiful fragrant clusters of florets from spring through frost.
Jared’s Top Native Texas Plants:
Gregg’s Mistflower – Blue flowers aren’t common in nature, but Texas is blessed with its fair share. This native flower is a butterfly magnet, putting out puffy blue flowers for nearly half of the year. It’s a vigorous spreader, so don’t plant it too close to anything delicate.
Gray Globemallow – This set-it-and-forget-it native shrub not only puts out stunning neon orange flowers twice a year with little to no care, it’s a favorite for bees and other pollinators. Great for hot, dry areas of your garden!
Autumn Sage – This shrub is the beautiful workhorse you need for your garden. It isn’t fussy, requires very little water, is evergreen most winters and can be found flowering in almost all colors!
Desert Willow – This small tree needs more love. It can take the sun and heat without much water. It puts out huge, beautiful blooms after it rains throughout the year. Looks great in both xeriscape and traditional gardens!
Mountain Sage – Most flowering Texas native shrubs want sun to bloom, but this beauty is an exception! If you want to add some bright color to attract hummingbirds to your shady garden, this is a plant for you!
“It’s ok to make mistakes while gardening. As long as you’re learning, you’re growing! It takes accidentally killing your favorite plant to help the next ones thrive.” – Gays Who Garden