Saturday, March 27, 2010

Design day...

Today was the perfect day - 81 degrees and a gaggle of garden bloggers came to my house for our second monthly "DesignA Go Go" brainstorming session.

We did have one non-blogger interloper, who came to greet the guests and snag herself some lemonade. While she was doing that, her Dad was taking these great photos so I could post about our party before they headed off to the movies together.

We toured the gardens, talked about plants and compared notes about what's still dormant and what might be dead in our gardens after our harsh winter.
After some visiting and chatting,
...and some eating and drinking,

...we set about looking at the area that I designated for my design brainstorming session. (Scroll down to my last post to see the area.)

Everyone asked great questions about what I like and what I don't. What I'll plant and what I won't. And most importantly, what are the dogs gonna do with it all?!

The first component is an area along the wrought-iron fence that allows them to look out and watch the deer off into the woods behind the fence. In front of that, I had visions of a garden area -- maybe a little like a secret garden -- with some neat features you have to walk into to actually see and experience.

Bloggers sketched and drew and wrote and walked and looked. And I was giddy with anticipation. We all talked about lots of great ideas. And then each gardener shared with me his or her unique perspective.

And honestly, I think I am going to be taking ideas from many of the plans that were laid out - and there were so many good ideas - stock tanks, seating, fencing, plants -- you name it, nothing was left off the table.

They even convinced me to try some plants and a stock tank (for plants), that I'd previously rejected. I was really trying to keep an open mind.

And then we had our plant swap and we all got loads of great new plants to try in our gardens.

It was a delightful day - a perfect Austin spring day - for relaxing and enjoying the garden instead of working in it for a chance.

THANKS to everyone who came and spent the afternoon sharing your great ideas with me.

Tomorrow I am off to the Zilker Garden Fest -- our biggest garden festival of the year -- where I hope to fill my wagon with more goodies to plant. Enough of this resting stuff!


katina said...

Thoughts in order:
1. I wish i could have made it.
2. CRAP! I totally forgot about the Zilker Garden Fest! thanks for the reminder.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

I can't wait to see how you implement all of your ideas. Your outdoor kitchen area is beautiful!

Pam/Digging said...

What a fun afternoon in your garden. I so enjoyed your covered patio--sigh. Could have sat there all day. Thanks for hosting!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I wonder who thought of a stock tank? Do your dogs like to swim? Well, they have a nice pool to swim in so I guess they won't jump into your stock tank. They will probably just think it is a big water bowl. Ha... I can't wait to see what you come up with. A nice Secret Garden sounds good to me. You could sit there quietly and watch the deer too.

Carol said...

Sounds like a fun way to spend an afternoon! I'll bet you got a lot of good ideas to think about for your new garden area.

The Younger Rachael said...

I love seeing the outdoor kitchen and dining room -- might have to print those photos to add to my collection of "stuff I like and might use when I get to plan my own house" pictures.

A plant swap -- What a good idea! (I'm new to many of these gardening social activities) anyone in Waco interested in swapping plants?

Gail said...

Oh I so wish I could pop over to visit you and the other Austin gardeners...I know you had a great time~I can see the smiles and the ideas generated must be wonderful...Oh, I do hope you go with a stock tank!

The Design get together is a great idea~~and I might have to start one in Nashville!


Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

What a great way to spend the afternoon. I'm looking forward to seeing how the dogs accommodate themselves to the changes.

Lancashire rose said...

It was a wonderful way to spend a few hours away from our own gardens; chat with fellow gardeners, eat and drink, put forth ideas for your proposed new secret garden and come home with a few more goodies for our own gardens. I'm out there planting now. Windy and what did Sheryl say this morning "cover tender plants tonight" Oh great! Have fun at Zilker.

Patchwork said...

Sounds like you had a great planning session. Can't wait to see how it come out.

Jayne said...

It sounds like everyone had a wonderful afternoon. What an awesome covered patio you have!

getgrounded said...

Diana, you had a challenging area that was fun to play "landscape designer" with! And as always, I loved your outdoor spaces, food and drink and gracious hospitality. I'm looking forward to future posts about how this project progresses.

Bob said...

I so enjoyed myself Diana, and I loved your covered seating area. After seeing it I couldn't come up with much as I was in awe of it.

The little stick plant with the hint of leaves is a Beauty Berry. The dark green plant with the frilly leaves is a Blue Curl. It will bloom in about a month. It does reseed it self.

ChrisG said...

Sorry I missed this month's design-a-go-go. I was working the master gardener booth at Zilkerfest both days. I'll be watching to see what you do with that patch!

See you next month for sure.


Janet said...

What a great idea for a fun get together. Your patio area sure looks inviting.

RBell said...

Being relatively new to the Austin blogging scene (and even more recently to the Austin Garden Bloggers Group), it was very nice to actually see & read what is involved in the design day. May have to see if I can make the next one...

Diana said...

Katina - Missed ya, hope you got to Zilker. See you at the next one.

Robin - Thanks. With as much sunshine as we get here, we get a lot of use out of it. I can't wait to start planning & implementing all those good ideas.

Pam - It was such fun and so inspiring. You can come sit on my patio any time!

Lisa - Yes, she's given us all stock tank fever! I am gonna do one with plants in it instead of water. Too many critters (including mine) to cause trouble in.

Carol - I did get great ideas, and lots of them. I hope you are getting inspired by your designer. Can't wait to see what you have in the works.

The Younger Rachel - Glad you like the outdoor area, we really enjoy it. The plant swap was great - get rid of stuff you don't need and get free plants!

Gail - It was a blast. Sure wish you could have been here, too. But you can come any time and we'll throw a shindig! And I will incorporate a stock tank with plants in it.

MMD - Ha! I'm sure the dogs will have a ball trying to mess up all my great intentions!

Lancashire Rose - It was a fun day, wasn't it. I loved all the ideas and suggestions and it was a great plant swap. Love getting passalongs. Zilker was great - just posted it.

Patchwork - It was so productive and full of different ideas. I'll take you along on the blog when I do it. Glad to see you're back safe & sound. Looked like a great trip.

Jayne - It's so nice that we can get together periodically. Austin has a fun group of bloggers.

Diana said...

getgrounded - It was so fun to have everyone brainstorm together and leave me with so many different ideas. I can't wait to get started.

Bob - So glad you could make it and come all the way down here. Loved that you put the shade line on your plan - that makes me realize a new area is going to require lots of study. Thanks for the passalongs, too.

Chris G - Sorry you couldn't make it - we missed you. But at least you were busy doing plant-stuff! See you next month.

Janet - It was fun and productive and got all of our creative juices going. And it was relaxing to enjoy our outdoor space. I'm usually too busy working on it!

RBell - Welcome to the bloggers group -- you'll have to put the next one on your calendar.