If you’re like me, you’re kicking yourself for not having had the time last weekend to attend the Garden Conservancy Open Days tour in Austin. And if you’re not kicking yourself yet, take a gander at garden designer Pam Penick’s photographs and summary of the tour. Austin gardens of all styles and sizes were open to the public.
* Stone House Vineyard. Vineyard and gardens of the Stonehouse Vineyard in Spicewood.
* Poth-Gill Garden. A playful little garden filled with native plants and flowers and a clever fountain. I especially like how the back stucco wall accommodates the tree and creates a spot for a collection of potted plants. If you’ve bought a cottage in one of Austin’s central neighborhoods, this garden provides a perfect inspiration for what is possible in a small place.
* Hornickel Garden. Another smaller garden but one with a more formal design and planting. Definitely a garden to entertain in.
* Arth Garden. A streamlined garden, small but with strong architectural lines. This garden has a very 1950s modern feel to it. It’s definitely a garden to relax in and not fuss over.
* David-Peese Garden. You’d expect the founders of Austin’s Gardens nursery to have something special and their garden doesn’t disappoint. It is spectacular in its choice of plants, its design of stairs and ponds and fountains and outdoor living spaces.
* Reed-Badger Estate. This Pemberton Heights garden was designed by Penelope Hobhouse and looks the part of an English estate transplanted into Central Austin. Definitely a fantasy garden. Fortunately for the current owners’ pocket-book, they have well water to supply the garden.
One thing makes me very sad is the current trend in Austin to build houses without yards. Here we are blessed with a climate where, save the worst days of summer, we can spend a great deal of our lives outdoors. Earlier residents of Austin capitalized on this asset by building small houses with large yards that had plenty of outdoor living spaces. I grew up in a family of ten and our various 3 bedroom houses never seemed crowded because we kids were outside playing.
Take the tour and take a whiff of what can be done if we bring back the yard.