Inside Austin Gardens Tour 2012: Phillips Garden

This week, I saw a preview of the Inside Austin Gardens Tour sponsored by the Travis County Master Gardeners in cooperation with Texas AgriLife Extension of Travis County.  The tour is coming up on October 20.  More information and tickets can be found at

The second garden we saw on the tour was the Phillips garden.  This was such a great garden to see because to me it rambled through the landscape, taking heed that it was out in forested land, but also tamed some areas to work for the owners such as the vegetable garden area.  But the materials looked as if they had just been reshaped from the landscape, which many of them no doubt had been.


What at first looked to be just a dry stream bed actually was a water feature which the owner could turn on and run water through in dryer times for the aesthetic and for the positive addition to the habitat.  Native perennials dotted themselves along the rockwork, softening the hardscape.

Once we were past the entrance area, we entered in through a wonderful gate covered with snail ivy mixed in the blue sky vine and were greeted by a landscape of galvanized feeder raised beds with a variety of edibles growing in them.  The look was minimal so that it was functional but still went well with the surroundings.  All of the raised beds are fed by drip irrigation.

I liked the aesthetics that the owner had selected, mixing the textures and looks of metal, wood and rock with the foliage of perennials and annuals.  This garden speaks strongly to the hill country style of gardening where you don’t try to reclaim and tame your natural surroundings.

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).