Spiky garden of Matt Shreves

Six months ago I visited the spikylicious garden of Matt Shreves, an Austin gardener I met on Instagram (see his Instagram page at OG_Agave). Last month, he kindly invited the Austin blogger group over (or maybe we invited ourselves over, and he graciously agreed), so I got to enjoy the spike-fest all over again.

His garden on a hilltop near Emma Long Park has many beautiful agave and cactus specimens.

Every plant looks marvelous.

And there are lots of sharp teeth.

Out front, Matt’s yuccas and agaves are set off by the late-season glory of flowering ‘Fireworks’ gomphrena and firecracker fern.

From this half-hidden patio at the top of the tiny but steep entry garden, Matt and his family can perch in relative seclusion and watch the neighbors go by.

Western-style garden art suits the desert-meets-Central Texas garden.

Potted plants carry the display right up the porch steps.

It was a treat to see his garden again. Thanks for sharing your beautiful creation with us, Matt!

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13 Responses

  1. Jenny says:

    The garden is so striking from the street. He chose those plants well-firecracker and fireworks to fit in among the agaves and succulents. And a nice place to sit out there too, which David took advantage of while we ooed and aahed. His specimens out at the back are equally impressive. I wonder if he took photographs in the snow or was he busy covering? And we all got to choose a little succulent when we left. So generous of him to share his garden and his plants. Thanks for arranging the visit Pam.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      You’re welcome, Jenny. I’ve added Matt’s IG link to the top of my post so everyone can find him online, and I especially encourage succulent lovers to follow him. I don’t see any snow pics there though, so I don’t know how his garden fared during our recent cold weather. —Pam

  2. Sasser says:

    Would love to be able to put together an area that looks so interesting! Picking up on Jenny’s comments though, would one have to cover all the plants when a freeze approaches? My plant budget is affected by the deer so worrying about a freeze would probably take me months to research the “safe” plants.

    • Pam/Digging says:

      Matt is succulent obsessed and a collector, and his garden is reflective of his fascination. It’s not a low-maintenance garden nor, I would venture to guess, an inexpensive one. A garden like this would not hold up well if you have deer (they love tender succulents, and they’ll antler bigger agaves), and hard freezes would be problematic unless you took special measures to protect the tender plants.

      I love seeing gardens like Matt’s because they reflect his passions, and he’s willing to take risks to grow the plants he loves. But everyone should take their own conditions (light, soil, deer/pests, budget, desire for low-maintenance) into account when creating their own garden.

      If you’re interested in succulents and cacti that are winter hardy here in Austin, check out this list compiled by Jeff Pavlat: http://www.austincss.com/Resources/Documents/Cold%20Hardy%20Cacti%20and%20Succulents%2003-11.pdf — and err on the side of conservatism when choosing plants for your garden. —Pam

  3. Gerhard Bock says:

    OMG, what a phenomenal garden. This is exactly what I love. It wouldn’t be on the Fling, will it?

  4. Kris P says:

    I love that variegated Furcraea in the pot, one way to control its size and also necessary to protect it from freezes I suppose. Thanks for sharing the garden!

  5. Jason says:

    OK, what’s the thing that looks like a short palm tree topped with an Afro of thin spiky blue-green leaves?

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