Yesterday we took the day off from working in our own garden to tour seven Austin gardens featured on the Garden Conservancy Tour. The mission of the Garden Conservancy is to preserve exceptional American gardens, which might otherwise be lost to the vagaries of time, for public enjoyment and education. Besides being a fund raiser the tour introduces the public to the works of landscape architects, garden designers and homeowner gardeners. Yesterday's tour had a little of everything.
There is always something new to see at the James David and Gary Peese garden. This is my 6th visit to the garden and there are always new places to explore, new features to see. This spring when I toured the garden with the garden bloggers James made special mention of the fact that his garden was a fall garden rather than a spring one. Was he apologizing because he didn't think his garden was looking the best? Then he is no different from gardeners everywhere. Their spring garden was wonderful and their fall garden exceptional. At every turn there is something to inspire. Their ideas for planting pots are some of my favorites. This little trough garden with its creeping ficus and small agaves is a delight.
I can't tell you the number of times I have driven down 12th St and never noticed the exuberant planting of agaves and native plants in the strip of land betwixt sidewalk and road. In future my attention will be drawn to those front gates and what lies beyond. At Stone Palms we began our tour in the back garden and I have to say we lingered there for quite some time.
I think we half expected someone to pop out with a tray of margaritas. Never mind, we enjoyed the sound of trickling water as it passed over the maidenhair ferns in the grotto and cast our gaze over all the wonderful shell creations by the artist homeowner. Reluctantly we moved on but only as far as the small front garden where we once again took advantage of a garden seat in front of this trickling fountain. Who would imagine that it was 90 degrees out there in the real world.
At this point in time we decided it would be a good idea to stop in at Whole Foods for a quick lunch break. We shared a wonderful crab cake salad and a glass of wine at the seafood bar. What a way to spend the day.
Lunch over we moved on to our last garden of the day Fatal Flower Garden. I knew we were in for a treat as we walked up to the house. There was an awe inspiring selection of agaves outside an even more impressive collection inside.
A small water feature using a stock tank really caught our eye. Always looking for new projects to keep David busy!
We enjoyed all the gardens but I have to say these were our favorites. These were also the gardens where we were allowed to use our cameras. I'm really not sure why the other gardens don't allow the use of cameras. If you are going to open up your garden to hundreds of people why not let them take away something other than memories. We all like to look back through our photos and remind ourselves of a wonderful day. It certainly was for us.