Inside Austin Gardens Tour 2012: Williams’ Garden

The Inside Austin Gardens Tour is fast approaching on October 20th.  Sponsored by the Travis County Master Gardeners, this tour is near and dear to me because…well, I’m a Master Gardener and I try and do my part every year to help shape a great tour.  These aren’t the highly manicured gardens that you might see on other tours where you sigh and dream of what you could do with a million dollars, a professional landscape designer and a gardener on staff to pull any leaf which might look out of place.  I ‘m always intrigued because the gardens on the IAGT are so accessible in terms of design but also inspiring in the way that each reflects the vision and personality of their owner.

I got a sneak peek of the gardens ahead of the tour and wanted to share them with you.  The post today will look at Carolyn and Michael Williams’ garden.  Carolyn is a Master Gardener, rose lover, grandmother, and has deep ties to Central Texas.  And I can see all of these things reflected in her garden.  She has transformed what was lawn and lots of shade into lovely roaming pathways with plant mixtures that blend naturally.

DSC00074Here, we see a beautiful blue sage blooming but it is the blues and greens of the foliage that really stand out.  These plants border an herb wheel in Carolyn’s garden.  I love the hardscape and how it breaks up the garden into sections and I am a big fan of special herb spaces like herb wheels and spirals.


Here’s a shot of the herb wheel- beautiful in its simplicity.


The herb wheel path leads right under a trellis with a climbing rose.  Carolyn has also featured, for fun with her grandkids, a wheelbarrow where she has built a keyhole garden.  For those who don’t know, keyhole gardening is where you build a garden- usually circular in shape with a wedge shape cut out- and then have a small compost pile held by wire plopped right in the center.  By placing compostable materials there and watering through, the garden is both watered and leeches nutritional goodness through this compost basket.  Carolyn has created a very cute version in a wheelbarrow and she says her grandkids love to take care of it.


Carolyn has also converted an old shed on the property into an outrageously cute garden cottage. Her grandkids must love it and I could just imagine them having their garden treats in there. But it also serves as her garden work area with running water and a work table.



Along with other charming touches, Carolyn has a bottle tree (bottle bush?) positioned to perfectly reflect in a mirror and multiple statues including St. Michael and St. Francis.


Carolyn has beautiful choices in plants and some very creative touches, including an insectary area stocked with plants specifically chosen to attract insects to her garden.  This garden is stocked full of ideas that will give inspiration to the tour visitors.

Inside Austin Gardens Tour  sponsored by the Travis County Master Gardeners and Texas Agrilife Extension of Travis County
Date: October 20, 2012
Time: 9 am to 4 pm
Tickets for the tour (all of the gardens) are $15 in advance, or $20 on the day of the tour ($5 for individual gardens).

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