Sunday, October 17, 2010


Saturday morning dawned with a beautiful sky heralding a great day for two gardening events.

One of the reasons we were up so early, it being rather difficult to wake up with these dark mornings, was the pending arrival of the team from Gardeners Supply. They were here to shoot their products in our garden. At the same time it was the Garden Conservancy Garden Tour and apart from visiting the gardens ourselves, we were working a shift on the entry table at East Side Patch.

The first members of the crew arrived at 7:45am. After a quick walk around the garden they began unloading the truck onto the driveway. They were going to get a lot of exercise walking all their products around to the back of the house. This was going to be their main shooting location among all the flowers.

Work began on putting together furniture. Then it was time to leave Lizzie, Susan, Geoff, Lenny and Rod to their day in the garden and for us to head to the Patch. The crew was going to be back tomorrow so I would have ample opportunity to see them at work.

Philip and Leah have created a garden in which both adults children and wildlife are at home. I never cease to get a kick out of the antics their children get up to in the garden.

Even the next door's cat, with its amazingly wild cat coat was not phased by the large numbers of people who were enjoying the wonders of the garden. You might think that he was eyeing the fish in the tank/pond.

He was really just finishing a long cool drink of water.

All who visit Philip's blog know what a great eye he has for photography. Some of his photographs on the side wall of the house. I saw one family pick out a lovely photo of a ladybug for their toddler's room.
At 12 we left to tour the rest of the gardens. First stop, just a few miles away at the Utility Research Garden.

David Cater is primarily a grower of both ornamental and edible bamboo as well as palms and agaves. I was interested to know how long it had taken for these A. ovatifolia to grow to this size. I was hoping he would say 100years. He said 5. I am now worried about the ones I have planted in my entry courtyard.

Of course what Airstream owner wouldn't note the 1970s model at the side of the property. We even had a little tour of the place David stays when he is in town. More information on David and his business can be found at

The next garden took up straight from Texas to Louisiana. The house in the style of New Orleans with intricate wrought ironwork, was described as a courtyard garden.

Such a lush setting in this nook alongside the entryway. You would never guess this was hot dry Texas. Monkey grass, ferns and crotons under a airy Japanese maple.

My eye is always drawn to hardscape. I love this kind of pathway.

The next garden has what I would describe as having French elements.

Formal hedging, around a bird bath separates the house from this massive limestone table. One could just imagine alfresco dining under the twinkling lights which adorn the allee.

We stood around this water feature discussing the possibility of adding one of these to our side entry area, which is due for refurbishment. I think Bob at Draco had come up with a similar idea at our Garden a Go Go. It would be perfect but the concern is that it would involve quite a bit of work to create well. Maybe a tank would be easier.
I forgot to take photos of the allee of pleached trees. My feeling is that it has now become a little overwhelming for the size of the garden.

From French informal to French formal. The house itself reminiscent of a French chateau and the gardens to match. Fabulous views of Austin from the patio at the front of the house and also from the swimming pool.

These were the areas that caught my eye as I walked around.

The last garden of the day was that of well known landscape architect James David. This is my 5th visit to the garden.

One of my favorite parts of his garden is by the front door.

I love the way he combines pots and plants of all kinds.

At the back of the house this waterspout which pours into a stone tank and then on down the rill in the center of the massive stone steps to the lower garden.

Clusters of fossils stones on the edge of the pool. You can see that I love stone in all its forms!

One of the new ponds held these water lilies with beautiful striped leaves. Always a joy to visit his garden.
Thank you to all who opened their gardens for us to visit today. We had a great time.
Arriving home we found that shooting was over for the day and that Lizzie, Susan, Geoff, Lenny and Rob were busy packing up for the day. As they walked around the corner of the garage one of them exclaimed"Look at this big lizard!"

I just happened to have my camera to hand and snapped a photo of the Texas alligator lizard. He didn't even mind at all having his photo taken.
Stay tuned for day 2 of the Gardeners' Supply photo shoot. I will be home all day.


  1. That DOES sound like a great day! :)

  2. You saw several scenes, especially in the New Orleans-style garden and the fancy French chateau garden that I missed entirely. That's what I love about viewing your pictures, and those of others who go on these tours.

    I also appreciated hearing how old those A. ovatifolias were in the Utility Research Garden. They were monsters and have grown faster than mine.

    I look forward to hearing more about the photo shoot.

  3. Oh for more land, money and ability. What a wonderful set of photos. This is the reason I started blogging. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Wow, I wish I'd have gotten out! I was supposed to work at David's garden but have had a fall bug. Your photos made me feel like I was there! You have such an eye Jenny, thanks!

  5. Thanks for the tour. We had out of town guests, so didn't make it, to see all those gardens. Maybe next time.

    As usual, you gave us a great tour.

  6. I love the hardscaping too. Those lovely clean paving stones would soon get covered by moss in my garden.

  7. Jenny, beautiful pictures and perceptions for indeed, a lovely day. Mine was more lovely to have seen you and David again.

  8. I'm glad that you had the energy to post about the entire tour. I got so caught up in the Jones versus David-Peese garden analysis that I just fizzled out. Besides, after we talked it all out last Friday, I had nothing more to say.

    The David-Peese garden is my favorite garden in Austin. You're too modest to believe this but your garden is my second favorite.

  9. What beautiful pictures. Love that picture of the wall covered in vines and the pool. Makes me want to move to Austin. Great blog.

    Jeff | Keep Your Plants Warm

  10. Thanks for the super tour! The lizard made me jump back! Those are some magnificent gardens. Such a nice variety. I'm inspired.
    David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston