>Today, the Austin Garden Bloggers were treated to a pre-tour showing of 4 of the gardens on the Inside Austin Gardens Tour, presented by the Travis County Master Gardeners. Every time I do one of these tours, I am amazed with how inspiring looking at other gardens can be. Even if they are not my style (that is, if I know what my style is) there are always things I take away to incorporate into my gardening, even if just a thought. Each garden was so different, yet they had all not only defied what the “normal” is in their neighborhood, but had also inspired a few neighbors on their street to take a step in creating more waterwise gardening approaches.
Here are some thoughts that I took away from the gardens:
NEVER TAKE YOUR GARDEN TOO SERIOUSLY
Rebecca Matthews did a beautiful job of exuding fun in her garden. From the knitted covers for trees and rocks to the chandelier to the fountains. I am most definitely going to use her letter wall as inspiration for a letter wall for each of my kids. Her watering can fountain was amazing and squeezed into the walkway going into her backyard. Surprises around every corner.
Sue Nazar has a big concrete fish that I adore. It is so understated that you can walk right by and not notice, like I did, but when you see it, it is just perfect in that spot and you can’t take your eyes off it.
YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY PLANTS
I have to hit myself everytime I go to a nursery and just keep repeating this phrase. Because I see something I like and I buy…one. One little plant. That then sits where it is placed and just looks lonely. I walk through Sue Nazar’s garden and just love how crowded and lush it appears. And weeding? Good luck weeds if you can find space to come up in all that foliage.
Link Davidson, the Master Gardener who designed Wendy Brennan’s garden, is the master of this approach. I told Link I want to be his sidekick on the next Big Trash Pickup Day just to watch him in action. From the air conditioning screens creating a beautiful open wall to the cut sidewalk pieces to the bright red hydraulic press (that is the perfect color, Link!), amazing!
DON’T BE AFRAID OF COLOR
I saw this idea in more than one garden, but Sue Nazar’s little cottage in the backyard was a perfect example. She had a beautiful red pot just downhill that showed off well in the same red.
FIND WAYS TO ROLL WITH THE CLIMATE YOU HAVE BEEN DEALT
When we visited Sheryl Williams’ garden, we all stood in the front yard and talked and talked and talked about her front yard. Sheryl removed all of her lawn and installed an area of Texas Sedge. This picture does not do justice to the beauty of the sedges and the movement of their seed heads back and forth. Drought tolerant, striking, and deer resistant. The triple crown for me.
SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO ACCEPT THAT YOU CANNOT CONTROL EVERYTHING
Sue Nazar found this out the hard way when the Vitex that she had cut and decked over decided it didn’t want to be vanquished from her garden. So it just found a way through the deck boards. Sue has accepted its presence with frequent cuttings and it just keeps growing happily.
Thank you to all of the garden owners for sharing their gardens with us. I encourage you to take the tour this Saturday, May 14th. Gardens open from 9am-4pm and you can purchase a $10 ticket that admits you to all of the gardens on the tour- amazing price. Tickets can be bought at each garden location. More info at Inside Austin Gardens Tour