Austin Garden Tours - Day Three!

Hello and happy Thursday!

I know my post is late this week, but there's some exciting news at Spring Meadow Nursery...soon we'll be launching a new website! So we've been working pretty much non-stop to get as much information loaded on to the site as possible so when it launches it's packed full of useful information. The new site isn't launched quite yet, but I'll post about it here when it is.

In the meantime, a little over two weeks ago I promised to spend the next three weeks (has it really been three weeks already???) writing about my top three faves from each day of the Austin Garden Blogger Fling. So here are reflections from the final day of the Fling, which was on May 6...

Photos from all three days of the Fling are posted here.

Once again, it's hard to choose just three sites, and of course, I'd like to immediately jump to Lucinda Hutson's garden because well, if you were there, or if you've been keeping up with the other garden bloggers, you've seen all of the amazing detail she's put into every square inch of her garden - and her whole home. Also, the fact that this handsome devil was waiting to greet us was an extra bonus.

But, her garden has been thoroughly described in a few blogs (Diana Stoll created a very nice post about her gardens here) so I'm going to move on to three other "day three" gardens...

For those riding on bus 2, the first stop was Margie McClurg's garden. Jackson Broussard, owner of Sprout Landscape Architecture was onsite to provide more information about her beautiful backyard oasis. Margie's garden was packed with a stunning array of foliage, including my favorite, cotinus. Actually, Proven Winners® ColorChoice® has a new smokebush called Winecraft Black, that has darker foliage and is more compact than your typical cotinus, that I'm planning on adding to my garden this summer. Hers was all decked out in beautiful, whispy blooms.

I also loved this rustic dining area, covered by a canopy of pear trees, and I could picture myself relaxing here at the end of a long day with some crusty bread and cheese, and maybe a nice glass of red wine.

Margie's garden was filled with aromatic plants... Jackson showed us one that I hadn't seen before, the hoja santa, which has large, soft leaves that when picked and crushed in your hand, releases oils that smell just like root beer!

After a delicious lunch and quick walkthrough of the Zilker Botanical Garden, we moved on to the Tait Moring garden. What I loved about his property is it is definitely a working garden. He describes it as a "test kitchen", embracing the local native landscape and seeing how each type of plant will thrive in specific conditions. And thrive they did! This wall of prickly pear ran the length of both sides of a service drive and was a gorgeous sight with bright yellow blooms aplenty.

I also took advantage of a short hike through his trail system and was rewarded with  my first look at a rare and beautiful Texas madrone tree and a short distance beyond that, a
breathtaking view of the valley (left). After my little hike, I was definitely eager to sit with the gathering of people who were cooling their feet in his pool! That gorgeous limestone wall behind it was created from stone gathered onsite; oh to have those resources at your fingertips!

Finally, we toured the spectacular property of Kirk Walden. This was definitely a day of incredible views. His backyard opens to the vista at the left: not too shabby, right? The gardens surround natural stone terraced walkways around the limestone pool, which mimics Lake Austin, below it.

I spied some fine shrubs here! First, this very happy hydrangea quercifolia, (below) which reminded me of Proven Winners® ColorChoice® Gatsby Gal® oakleaf hydrangea.

I also spotted another of my faves! A terrific smokebush specimen, nestled in a partly shaded area in the beds on the side of the pool area.

And that's it! Day three wrapped up with a wonderful event at Articulture Designs where there was a live band, a bar where you could sample two of Lucinda Hutson's margarita recipes from her "Viva Tequila" book, and a very delicious barbecue feast.

Hat's off...oh did I mention I won a GORGEOUS Tula Laurel gardening hat at the Saturday evening banquet raffle? This hat is soooo nice and comfortable, beautiful, lightweight, and the leather strap keeps it on your person if the wind takes it. Anyway, like I said, hats off to the amazing Austin Garden Blogger Fling home team who organized this event. It's clear they paid close attention to every detail - setting the standard, for this newbie anyway, for events to come...maybe in my own area one day?

Until next week - never stop growing, Natalie


  1. How wonderful to see what caught your eye on Day 3 of the tours, Natalie. I'm so glad you joined us at Austin Fling. Hope to see you next year in Denver!

  2. Hi Pam! Thanks so much for all the comments! I've been having trouble responding on Google Blogger, so I'm working on the meantime I'll just have to be anonymous! Have a great holiday weekend, Natalie