Saturday, October 4, 2008

Peeping bloggers...

With a little luck and a lot of planning, I was able to check out 4 of the amazing gardens on the Garden Conservancy's Open Days. My neighbor and gardening friend, Maria and I set out on our excursion early this morning, hoping to fit in 3, and we managed to see 4.

I have some nice pictures, and I'm not going to try and guess plant names, so I'll just share some of the wonderful views. This first photo was the first garden we visited in East Austin -- called Fatal Flowers. It was a beautiful blend of desert and lush plants. Lots of rock paths and walls, shade and sun plants, all mixed in a lovely layered garden. And who should I run into at the first garden, but Pam of Digging and Annie of the Transplantable Rose. We had fun looking at everything together and trying to ID things!



There were so many beautiful succulents - many growing out of rock crevices and cascading down.
The most stunning focal point in the garden was this Agave. It was at least 9-10 feet tall.
The dappled shade pathways gave me lots of ideas and inspiration for shady beds.

This garden, on West 12th, was called Stone Palms, and that's what was at the entrance to the property. Not a species of palm, but rather art -- tall trunks made all of rock, topped with Sago palms. Not sure how they water up there!
This gardener is also an artist who uses shells to create her art. This is a gazebo in her front yard, complete with a shell-covered fireplace in the background.

Then on the other side there was a grotto-style waterfall, lush and tropical, with art made from shells in the middle of it. The water trickled into a concrete tank surrounded by plants. Beside this was a bed - yes, a bed, in her front yard. I supposed it was intended to be a sleeping porch, just without the screens or the porch!
This is the entrance to the back yard.
Along the side of the house.
And another piece of her striking and unique art holding an agave.

We saw two other gardens, the G. Hughes & Betsy Abell garden, designed by Scott Ogden, but we were not allowed to take any photos there. I'm not sure why, once you've let the city come in and walk around, what you protect by doing that, and it was lush and interesting. Lots of shade plants, a cactus garden and interestingly, the beds had pine needles instead of mulch. You don't see that much around here.

Then we went around the corner and saw the Granger Garden, which had beautiful lake views and some lovely beds. Sadly, I had put my camera away and didn't get it back out. And the garden, while pretty, wasn't as unique -- not a gardener's garden, like the first two clearly were.

All in all, a lovely day, spent with a good friend and basking in the beauty and inspiration of others. We both went home wanting to stick our hands in the dirt.

Thank goodness, because now I can say that the two Mystic Spires and the new Celsii Agave are in the ground!

21 comments:

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Hi, Diana! How fun to run into Pam and Annie! That is a very interesting and artsy garden!

Bonnie said...

Wish I could have gone, but I had 10 pre-K kids at my house. But it sounds like it was good. I'll just relive it through everyone's postings.

getgrounded said...

Diana, I agree with you that the last two you visited were lovely, but not so unique. I saw all of them today except for Fatal Flower, so I'm glad to see the pics here on your site. And you know I loved Stone Palms the most!

EAL said...

Great gardens! I agree they should allow photography; it is helpful for remembering plants or design ideas. You really need images for that.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Hi Diana, loved seeing you, Pam and Annie together as well as the gardens. I have been on a tour before where they didn't want you to take pictures. I thought it odd that they would invite thousands of people into their garden then say no pictures.

The person that does the shell art is very creative. I like the stone garden best though. I like those stones that have the holes. I bet it is difficult to water those palms at the top of the posts. I have never seen an agave as large as the one you have pictured. WOW... Thanks for taking us along with you on the garden tour.

Lancashire rose said...

I was busy looking for someone this morning who had posted on the tour. We managed to get to all the gardens and I would have to say that my favorites were like yours Stone Palms and Fatal Flower. I took almost the identical pictures. I am interested to hear what others have to say about the other gardens. The David/Peese garden , of course, is wonderful and always a pleasure to visit as it grows. This was our 6th visit to the garden and he will eventually,I'm sure, cover his entire lot. It will be a garden to conserve for ever.

Diana said...

Robin -- it was great to tour those gardens and so fun to run into my blogging buddies, too.

bonnie - why did you have 10 pre-K kids at your house? A birthday party I'm assuming? I'm sure you had much more excitement than we did!

Robing - they were the best, weren't they? And so lovingly tended. If they show Fatal flower again you'll have to see it. Neat shade ideas.

Eal - you'd think they would want you to get ideas and inspiration from their gardens. But this was a garden designed by Scott Ogden, so maybe there is something about someone showing their design without getting paid. Strange.

Lisa -I think it's odd, too. And it didn't look like they'd "cleaned up" things in anticipation - pathways were kind of dirty and it seemed a little unkempt. I know - the first thing I thought about at the shell house was HOW do they water those??!!! Since they have so many water features, they might have some special irrigation set-up there.

Annie in Austin said...

Hi Diana,

It was fun to find you and Maria exploring the same garden! We toured Stone Palms first and Fatal Flowers second. Pam & I made it to all the gardens, also saw garden bloggers Vertie and Linda L from CTG along the way.

From the comments it sounds as if there were Austin garden bloggers all over the tour, but arriving at each garden in a different order. Julie at Human Flower Project also posted about Fatal Flowers, but our paths didn't cross.

The no-photo rule was in effect at a couple of the gardens and it was rather frustrating - but at least they let us in to look!

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Gail said...

Thank you for the tour of Fatal Flowers Diana! What a wonderful garden, with something for almost every garden! The agave is knock your socks off HUGE! The Sago Palm 'trees' are fantastic and I see a ladder being hauled out to water them!

Strange about the no photos rules!

Gail

Diana said...

Lancashire Rose - I can't believe you seen the David/Peese garden 6 times. It is stunning. Like nothing I've ever seen. I definitely want to see it again, but since I just saw it in April, and had limited time, I passed yesterday.

Annie - It was so nice to see you and Pam on the tour -- we really do need to get together more since we always have so much to talk about! I guess we will get several more opportunities this Fall, so that will be nice.

Diana said...

Gail - I know - that Agave is really something to stare at, isn't it. I've secretly always wanted one, so now I am trying to figure out how to create a space for one! It's gonna take a BIG bed! The Flowers garden had one plant list out there - sure wish I had a copy of it!!!

Bob said...

Thanks for the tour, the pictures are great. I din't get to make it so I see a little of what I missed.

Lori said...

Sweet! I was hoping someone would post tour pictures so I could see what I missed! We only made it to the James David/Gary Peese garden as planned, and I really wished we'd had more time so that I could at least see the Fatal Flower Garden. It looks just as cool as I'd imagined. Maybe it'll be on a tour again soon.

Those pillars with the shells and agave are pretty awesome as well.

Diana said...

Bob - you're welcome. This was my first Open Days tour and I really enjoyed it. I've always wanted to go and just never managed it.

Lori - You would have liked Fatal Flowers and Stone Palms - they were cool and kind of ecclectic.

Iris said...

Thanks so much for a peep into the tour! I had forgotten all about it and have enjoyed reading all the bloggers' posts so I could take a virtual tour.

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

That agave was amazing! Thank you for the tour. I loved it. Wish I'd been there with you though.~~Dee

Diana said...

Iris - you're welcome -- I wish I had been able to do the whole tour, but I'm hoping for some more photos on other blogs to see what I missed!

Dee - Sure wish you could have been here, it would have been fun. And there were lots of things that you could incorporate into your OK garden. Are you going to Chicago in May?

Pam/Digging said...

It was great to run into you and your friend on the tour, Diana, and talk plants at Fatal Flower. I can't wait to do more of the same at Peckerwood.

Diana said...

It was fun to oggle together on the tour...What I really wanted was my own copy of her plant list! That was an amazing thing, wasn't it?

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