May 15, 2018

Austin Garden Tours, Day Two!

Hello and happy Tuesday!

As promised, today I'm going to write about my favorites from day two of the Austin Garden Bloggers Fling.

Our first stop was Colleen Jamison's garden. There was something about the cozy love I felt in everything she touched that spoke to me. This is a woman after my heart, I mean...after she cultivated pretty much every square inch of her own property, she moved on to the median that runs all the way down her street, creating a park-like setting for the whole neighborhood to enjoy.
Yep, this is her median, too
Colleen Jamison's median
The archway
Then, you walk around the side of her house, through a beautiful little archway, and into her backyard, which is glorious. She has been working on her garden since 1994, and it shows. She has created beautiful, well-established spaces where plants, wildlife, and people, can thrive. 

Lush foliage is everywhere and the tasteful ornamentals she has chosen just add to the charm. Peppered throughout the gardens are benches and pots painted my mother-in-law's favorite shade of purple, so I'll definitely be sharing some pictures of Colleen's garden with her when we visit Vermont this summer!
Beautiful touches in Colleen's garden

Lush, cozy, and purple!

Beautiful and bold!
Next, we traveled to Pam Penick's garden. Can I just say...breakfast tacos? Yep, they were waiting for us when we got off the bus at her house. Yummy. Thanks, Pam!

Her backyard and gardens are an oasis where she takes advantage of every inch of her property, creating strolling and gathering spaces around the stock tank pond and swimming pool focal points. Her gardens are designed for practicality as well as beauty, creating a dry stream and terraced gardens that move water from the Texas downpours away from the house and through the gardens in a way that is useful, rather than detrimental, to the plantings. You might not know it unless you had the "Private Gardens Portraits" sheet that I got on the first day of the fling, but it's fascinating to see how she did it when looking down onto her property from up on her back deck with that information in your back pocket.

Time to start drinking some fancy water...
Cement block brilliance
Pam is super-creative. Her cement-block wall planted with succulents is something I plan on stealing for my own yard - and who would have known that blue glass bottles upended on rebar, positioned along a walkway, would make such a strong statement? Pam's not afraid of color, she accents her lush surroundings with bold red-oranges, blues, and aquamarine. Her spaces were really a feast for the senses.

And I'm not just saying that because of the tacos.

Sigh... I said I'd write about three gardens and we toured six beautiful gardens on Saturday. But if I have to choose a third, I'd choose Tanglewood.

At the top of the 6' plant...
Owners Skottie and Jeff have set up a vast display property that ranges from daylily hybridizing beds to a variety of lovely outdoor entertaining areas. They have winding paths throughout the gardens in back, which are bordered by Tar Branch creek at the back of the property. The gardens have a wide variety of plants and yes, I had to take a photo of the artichoke - who knew they were so tall? Okay, well, I didn't know.

Something else I really loved...they have a moon garden - a special garden dedicated to plants with pale-colored flowers, so it's designed to be viewed moonlight. It's actually the only garden in Texas where I spotted a Hydrangea arborescens, a Michigan staple.  It was peaceful and shady... you could just feel the tranquility wash over you when you walked past the Moroccan-accented screens into the courtyard.

Guardians of the moon garden

One of the many daylily beds

Now, I'm not saying that being able to cool off in a pool swayed my viewpoint, but I will say that starting with Jeff and Skottie's house, removing shoes and sitting around the perimeter of the pool became a very relaxing way to punctuate many of our garden visits. I know there are some fun pictures out there, but I didn't take any because I was otherwise occupied... So you just have to imagine the pool to the left lined with garden bloggers cooling off some well-traveled feet and enjoying some Texas-sized hospitality.

That's all for today! Next week will be highlights from day three of the Fling and we'll go back to the Plant of the Week after that. Remember, if you want to view all the photos I took at the Austin Garden Bloggers Fling, they are available here.

Until next week, never stop growing... Natalie 


  1. It's so fun to see what you pulled from each garden visit, Natalie. BTW, the garden tacos at my garden were Laura Wills's genius idea, and as our food planner she made all the arrangements. I just benefited from having happy, well-fed bloggers at my garden! ;)

  2. Ha - garden tacos. I meant to write "breakfast tacos"!

  3. Love your views and so glad to have meet you!

    1. Thanks Linda, it was so great to meet you as well!


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