4662, Rockcliff Rd
This morning I left the house at 8:30 am to be sure to arrive at the gates of Rockcliff Rd by 9am. I had exactly 3 1/2 hours to visit all the gardens on tour before reporting to my volunteer post after lunch. I had watched the preview of this garden on Central Texas Gardener, a couple of weeks ago, but nothing could prepare me for the extensive nature of pathways and water features. As I walked down the pathway I couldn't help but wonder at the variety of native plants growing under the trees. In my garden deer eat every shoot that appears. Here high fences keep the deer at bay and permit the growth of such plants as this unusual white cone flower, Echinacea augustifolia, along with wine cups and heart leaf skullcaps. All native plants and thriving in this most wonderful setting.
The pathways opened onto the back of the house and the origin of a stream that threads its way down through the trees. Collaboration between the architect Paul Lamb and landscape architects Environmental Survey Consulting was obvious.
The placement of stones is so natural that the stream looks as though it has been there forever.
What dog wouldn't be happy with this special setting for his weekly bath.
When I first saw this area I thought it was a gathering area but then I saw the doggy door and remembered that someone had told me about the dog bathing area..
Another water feature at the front of the house.
It was here I caught up with David Mahler and Troy Nixon who were the masters behind this wonderful system of trails, water features and native plantings.
5801 Kempson Drive
The next garden was quite a contrast. In this small suburban back garden the owners asked for one side of the garden to be left in its natural state; a wooded area with cedars live oaks and understory plants. Careful removal of invasive species and the introduction of more native plants created a natural, shaded wooded area with cedar mulched pathways.
The other side of the garden, in full sun comprised large limestone ledge rocks from the area and decomposed granite gravel underfoot.