Today I joined my garden blogging friends Pam Penick, of Digging, Cat Jones, of The Whimsical Gardener, Jeanne McWeeney of Dig, Grow, Compost, Blog, and Shirley Fox of Rock, Oak, Deer, for the Garden Conservancy's Open Days tour.
It was a great morning - a little foggy early on, but very comfortable for garden gawking. We toured six wonderful Austin gardens -- all of them true gardener's gardens -- full of creative and personal touches. I met most of the gardeners and hosts and enjoyed hearing about the evolution of the gardens.
Carved into rocky ledges, Jeff Pavlat's garden was a southwest/agave afficionado's dream come true. Every imaginable combination of agave, aloe, yucca and cactus bedazzled us.
With our changing climate here in Central Texas, these plants are proving to be great additions to gardens that are in as much transition as the weather.
Layers of limestone steps and retaining walls combined with the natural escarpment to lead visitors down the slopes. Artistic touches complemented many of the vignettes and combinations.
There were even agaves where there were no agaves.
Some of the focal points were whimsical, and others were inspirational.
Pots were also used to add height and interest to plant combinations.
Looking down into a stream and koi pond, the sound of water beckons you for a closer look.
The welcome committee was still hanging around from Wednesday night's festivities.
Many of the small specimens were scattered about in beautiful, textured pottery.
And, above all else, his is a collector's garden. Plants fill every inch of the greenhouse. I have no idea where the big pots will go in the winter!
A few critters were keeping an eye on us as we wandered through the garden.
This one was easily the creepiest.
There were several varieties I vowed to find and add to my garden, especially this yucca gloriosa "tiny star."
I thoroughly enjoyed this drought-tolerant and creative garden with all of its texture, stone and sculptural plants.