Marie & Lanny Embrace Nature at Their Wimberley Home  

gillnurseryLife in The Garden21 Comments

Two of our favorite people, Marie (James’ sister) and Lanny (our brother-in-law) bought a home on the outskirts of Wimberley, Texas about seven years ago. It sits on an acre of land, with a covered veranda across the back of the house, looking out onto a small garden area and swimming pool with a grove of oaks along the back of the pool, and steps dropping down to a lower level of native trees and grasses.  

Upon moving in, they both were drawn to the deer that wandered the neighborhood and the local and migrating birds and butterflies. So began the plan for their landscape. Their intention was for everything in the garden to be focused on birds, pollinators, and other critters. 

Today, when James and I visit Marie and Lanny, we feel like we’re in paradise. Marie starts her day by filling the bird baths and bird feeders. Her monthly budget includes several hundred pounds of bird seed, peeled and shelled sunflower seed for the finches, a sunflower seed mix for cardinals, doves, titmice, woodpeckers, chickadees, and gold finch, a sunflower seed mix with peanuts and other goodies for the jays. And of course hummingbird feeders and plants for the hummingbirds. “Girlie”, a deer they befriended (and named) in the neighborhood, peers in their front window in the morning – a cue she and her fawn are ready for Marie’s protein formula deer food. 

They have a trough of water they keep filled for the deer and smaller animals, including a local fox that comes around when the coast is clear. Marie keeps blooming flowers for the hummingbirds including salvias and Turks cap, and zinnias, tithonia and mist flower for the butterflies and bees. 

Down below, on the undeveloped piece of their property, Lanny built a “She Shed” for Marie, where she displays many of her botanical prints, an amazing collection of her family’s antique colored glass flower vases, twiggy bird nests with colored eggs, snake skins, garden tools, garden fabrics and textiles, bird cages and bird houses. It’s heaven on earth for me!! Leading up to the “She Shed” are recirculating water fountains, birdbaths, ferns and hanging baskets with flowers spilling over. And of course on the covered porch are chairs for relaxing. 

Ever since I’ve known Lanny, he’s always had a vegetable garden. In Wimberley, he built his biggest one yet. He edged his garden with limestone “cut rock”, created paths with crushed granite and fenced his 25’x20’ garden with wood posts and cattle panels, allowing sun to reach his garden on all sides. On the outside of the fenced area are more raised beds and the compost bins. Lanny says the secret to his garden success is soil regeneration and soaker hoses. He believes in the “no till” method, that is do not disturb the soil; leave the micro-organisms underground and healthy. Marie and Lanny save all their fruit and vegetable scraps for composting. He adds manure, cotton seed compost (high in nitrogen), and garden compost to his beds every spring and fall to ensure the best soil and healthy vegetables. Lanny likes to grow greens because they are compact and keep giving, like spinaches, Swiss chard, collard greens and mustard greens and he always has a great crop of tomatoes, spring and fall.

Marie and Lanny, surrounded by nature, are blessed with their three dogs – Uno, Izzie and Loki – their family. Their days are filled with all the surprises nature can bring – from a fawn just born nestled under the deck to bumblebees buzzing around blooming Mystic Spires salvia, hummingbirds sipping nectar and woodpeckers knocking on wood. James and I are so happy they’ve made a heaven on earth for themselves and their critters! 

-Sally Gill

21 Comments on “Marie & Lanny Embrace Nature at Their Wimberley Home  ”

  1. What a great article Sally!
    Marie and Lanny have always been Nature’s caretakers! ❤️

    1. Oh thanks Margaret!! I love Marie and Lanny’s garden and am so happy I finally wrote about it!! I hear your place is beautiful too!!

      I’m sorry for your husband’s passing. I’ve thought about you and the challenges I’m sure you’ve faced over the past year. Wishing you peace and clarity as time goes on. All the best, Sally

  2. Ohhhhh…..So good to hear from you Sally! I just loved your article about those two Pals of mine! They have both always been such animal and nature lovers and it was so refreshing to read your article about people doing loving and good things! Our World is falling apart with so much negativism…It’s hard to take anymore and your article hit the spot dead on with all things positive!
    Thank you for your well wishes! I really do appreciate your kindness! ❤️🌈❤️

  3. Magnificent! I love the pictures of the flowers, why can’t I get those purple and pink cosmos to grow? They are so perfect!
    Imagine deer in your yard, how cool!
    Thank you for the post , Sally!

    1. I love the white, pink and purple cosmos too! As I bet you know they like sun. You could try now for a fall crop or maybe better wait until mid spring next year. Putting on my calendar now!!

  4. Thank you Sally for sharing your visit to your Sister in law’s beautiful “sanctuary”.

    Your writing is very picturesque and along with pictures, well, it’s perfect.

    I enjoyed trailing along there right behind you and James.

    1. Thank you so much Patricia! It is fun writing about special places – I love your use of “sanctuary” – wish I had thought of that!! Sure appreciate your kind words! Sally

  5. What a beautiful piece! The description and pictures allowed us to walk through their garden, and enjoy it’s beauty.

  6. I loved your article Sally. It brought me back to my visit to Wimberly. Agreed. It is heavenly.

  7. Beautiful and relaxing pictures. And , so many details for the eyes to rest upon. Thank you for posting such an imaginative place. Love those raised beds from the cut stone. Keep on keeping on with your vision to be enjoyed by animals and people.

  8. What a beautiful article a little peace of paradise that we certainly need in this world full of turmoil.

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