Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Flowers, friendship, food and fun with Austin garden bloggers

On Sunday, a growing group of Austin garden bloggers gathered to tour two gardens and socialize and swap plants. We started with a lovely tour of noted author, Jill Nokes', garden and she entertained us with stories of the history of her house and her garden's evolution.

Her rock wall and archway are filled with memorabilia like fossils, bits and pieces of other things she's collected and whimiscal items.
After the tour at Jill's -- we wandered through the neighborhood and snapped some pictures of interesting plant life along the way.

Then we ventured south for a tour of Jenny -- Lancashire Rose's garden -- along with appetizers and drinks and a plant swap to top off the day.

The architecture of their angular house set against the myriad of rock formations and seeminly endless spring blooms blowing in the breeze was amazing.

I've read her blog for some time, but this is an instance where a camera and photos are simply no match for the personal visit and the human eye. Even the best of equipment cannot capture the breath-taking views and rooms she and her husband have created in their Hill Country oasis.

I just had to take a few pictures to remind myself how lovely and peaceful it all was.

After our tour and social hour, we had a plant swap.

What an interesting array of plants. Irises, agaves, salvias, tomatoes, trees, datura, roses, seeds, red wine vinegar mother -- you name it, we had it to share.

I felt like a kid in a candy store!

A perfect spring afternoon in Austin, surrounded by friends, and sharing our love of gardening and nature.

Special thanks to Pam of Digging -- our fearless leader (!) -- for organizing, and to Jill and Jenny for inviting us into their gardens.


Janet said...

Beautiful gardens!!

Bonnie said...

I know, don't you just love Jenny's. It has such a balanced, zen feel to it. When I worked there for the MG Garden tour, I told her to not be surprised to find me in her garden when she came out with her coffee in the morning, because I was moving in!

Diana said...

Janet -- they were both beautiful, and very different. Glad to bring you along!

Bonnie -- it is very Zen -- that's a perfect description. I could just imagine sitting there having coffee -- I'll join you!

Pam/Digging said...

Diana, what a fun day that was! I'm glad you posted pics too. I always love seeing what other people notice in a garden. One can see such different perspectives that way.

It's funny though, because I don't think of Jenny's garden as Zen at all. While the architecture of the garden is very clean-lined, the plantings are jazzy, free-spirited, and cottagey, in my view, not peacefully, monochromatically Zen.

Again, those different perspectives coming into play. That's what makes blogging---and visiting gardens with others---such fun.

Diana said...

Pam - it was fun to see your photos, too. They are amazing, as always. I can see your point on the perkiness of her garden, but it made me feel so peaceful to be in it -- taking the day "off" relishing nature and enjoying the company of friends -- maybe the Zen was more a combination of those factors!

Dawn said...

It was so good to visit with you again on Sunday, Diana. Thank you for sharing your lovely photos. I didn't take any, so am grateful to those who did. Both gardens are magical in their own unique ways.

Jill's garden is tranquil; a perfect place to meditate, read, think & relax. It's simply beautiful! And 'breath-taking' is a perfect word to describe Jenny's garden. There are so many vibrant colors. I was mesmerized as I walked through each garden room.

In my next life I would like to be as gifted as either of these fine ladies.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Diana, I nearly swoon every time I see that lovely wall with all the interesting "stuff" in/on it. The flowers in the second garden are just amazing. Thanks for the tour. I wish I could have been there with you.

Diana said...

Dawn -- It was great to see you, too, and I'm so glad things are going so well for you and your family. The gardens were so uplifting, weren't they? I know, I am racking my brain trying to figure out why my beds don't look like that!

Diana said...

Lisa -- it is an amazing wall and arch isn't it? I tried to talk my husband into one, but he says it would be out of place at our house (and it would). But I love it. all that texture and unusual stuff. Wish you'd been here to see it in person.

Sherri said...

Do you think I could talk my husband into moving to Austin just so I participate in these events?

Beautiful pictures!

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

Sounds like a wonder filled time, Diana. I see those photos and wish I could be in Austin again with you all this time of year. Oh, wait . . . I get to see you and Pam in Chicago next month. Now, that makes me feel better.~~Dee

Gail said...

Diana, You lucky Austin gardeners...to have one another and to be able to tour two wonderfully different but both fantastic gardens!
I loved your photos...and totally relate to the feeling that some gardens must be experienced in person add to the mix my inability to capture in a photo what my brain sees!


Lancashire rose said...

I heard Tom Spencer talking last week about how the garden exemplifies the gardener's personality. Spot on Tom. If he could see my closet! Can't ever throw anything away and that spreads over into my gardening and my unwillingness to remove plants. Voila- cottage garden look!

Diana said...

Sherri - the more the merrier -- come on down!~ It's a great place to garden, but then so is your area. And you get 4 seasons at least.

Dee -- we missed ya, but you're right - we will get to see you in no time now! I can't wait for the Fling.

Gail -- We are lucky to have so many bloggers around, but so are you -- and you have had several visit and visitors...it's so much fun to see them in person!

Diana said...

Lancashire Rose -- You are too funny! I don't want to even think about my closet! I'd say you just have a love of beautiful things and you like to have lots of them around you.

Herry said...

Beautiful Garden... It's really a Great experience. I always like to make this type of garden, after reading this one , i think it'll help me to make such a beautiful garden.

Diana said...

Herry - it is a beautiful garden -- it's so fun to be inspired by the beautiful gardens of others, isnt' it?