Three more gardens on Inside Austin Gardens Tour 2017


I’ve already posted about two of the gardens on this Saturday’s Inside Austin Gardens Tour, and today I’m showing a sneak peek of three more private gardens on the tour.

Garden of Dorothy Thering


Gardening on 23 acres in Spicewood, Dorothy Thering has room for a spacious and colorful greenhouse with welcoming patios (see top picture too).


Potted plants live in and around the greenhouse, and garden beds, a small pond, and a fire-pit patio add country-living ambience, not to mention acres of rugged Hill Country views.


Dorothy and her husband, Mike (pictured here), also have a fenced vegetable garden, chickens, beehives, a pony, and a pair of mini Nubian goats, Ethel and Lucy.

Garden of Peggy Hart


In suburban west Austin, Peggy Hart gardens sustainably with low-water plants, rainwater collection, and a pollinator garden.


A cheerful metal longhorn guards the back forty amid the cedars.


And a huuuuuge deck, only glimpsed here in the window reflection, provides a view of downtown and the UT Tower, plus lots of comfortable places to relax. Peggy accents the deck with fun art, like this metal spiderweb, and potted plants.

Garden of Velia Sanchez-Ruiz


In south Austin, Velia Sanchez-Ruiz contends with deep shade in her back garden, brightening it with mirrors, white pots and garden art, and lush greenery.


A metal angel reaches for the stars amid star-shaped leaves of Virginia creeper.


This pretty yellow-and-pink columbine doesn’t mind the shade.


Walking iris hasn’t walked out either.


Fragrant star jasmine flowers behind a meditative Buddha.


Out front, Velia grows sun-loving flowers, including an extensive collection of daylilies and even Queen Anne’s lace.

That’s it for my sneak peek of the tour, coming up Saturday, May 6th! For a look back at the cottage-meets-Zen garden of Daphne Jeffers and Shari Bauer’s whimsical found-art garden, both of which will also be on Saturday’s tour, click here.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Mark your calendar for the Inside Austin Gardens Tour on May 6, sponsored by Travis County Master Gardeners. This fun garden tour occurs every 18 months and features a mix of homegrown gardens “for gardeners, by gardeners,” as their tagline says.

Get on the mailing list for Garden Spark Talks. Inspired by the idea of house concerts — performances in private homes, which support musicians and give a small audience an up-close and personal musical experience — I’m hosting a series of garden talks by design speakers out of my home. Talks are limited-attendance events and generally sell out within just a few days, so join the Garden Spark email list for early notifications. Simply click this link and ask to be added.

Magical mosaics in the garden of Wouterina De Raad, Part 2: Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling


Yesterday I shared Part 1 of my visit to Wisconsin artist Wouterina De Raad’s mosaic sculpture garden, which was the final garden — and my favorite — on the recent Minneapolis Garden Bloggers Fling. Today I’ll end my Fling series with Part 2 about Wouterina‘s delightful, exploratory garden.

In addition to Wouterina’s fanciful sculptures, the exuberant garden is accented with a half-dozen small structures like this stucco (or concrete?) “little house” with sky-blue trim. They make charming focal points and backdrops for plants and sculpture, like the Statue of Liberty pictured at right.


Check out this supersized fish bench, with a mosaic-tile woman reclining like Jonah in the whale!


In another part of the garden, three human figures are actually chairs themselves.


They even have flowerpot heads.


This one wears succulents in her hair and bracelets on her arm.


Many of Wouterina’s creations wear strings of lights, and this piece looks like an actual lamp. How I’d love to visit her garden at night. I did find this article in the StarTribune that has a couple of photographs of the garden lit up, so check it out.


Another little house — this one colored a rosy salmon. Two sculpted jaguars support a bench by the door.


Wouterina has matched plants to the house color, amplifying the effect.


Peeking in the window of one little house reveals an audience of Wouterina’s creations peering back at me. In a nod to the farm country that surrounds the garden, a rusty old toy truck transports toy horses, cows, and ears of corn!


Behind the house, another arch supports a sculpted snake — who seems to be reading the “Outhouse” sign.


A flock of mosaic crows or ravens occupies this corner of the garden, including one at a birdbath…


…two on an arch, and two more on stumps up ahead.


In a sunny spot, with a big barn as a backdrop, crimson poppies spill over a low fence made of windmill blades.


Behind the poppies, Wouterina grows rows of vegetables, and mesh stars dance along an old section of iron fencing.


I remember asking someone what this plant is, but I forgot. Update: It’s a thalictrum. Thanks, Helen!


Foliage color contrasts


Allium seedheads and a mermaid figurine


A wider view…


…with a mosaic fish sculpture swimming above the garden.


The underwater theme continues with a mermaid and fish sculpture.


What is she holding up, a lamp? Again, I’d love to see this place at night.


Horsetail fills a fish planter at her feet.


I spotted Susan and Layanee sitting on a sculpted bench nearby, engrossed in conversation. What a spot for it.


A glimpse of farmland just past the garden’s edge


A playful bench and table set is another Wouterina creation. The benches are, I think, caterpillars with distinctly cat-like faces. A colorful sculpted bird sits on this one’s head.


And a monkey (?) takes this one for a ride.


Near a chicken coop stand two more sculpted birds.


A mermaid in dramatic repose


Oh, hello!


Tucked amid plants, a sculpted blue jay planter contains a flowering hosta (surely the signature plant of this year’s Fling).


A mosaic planter and pedestal are softened by surrounding grasses.


This chicken throne invites the Chicken Queen — whoever that might be — to take a seat.


Wouterina likes to elevate pots on pedestals in her garden beds, like this one tucked amid white and pink yarrow. Looking on in the background…


…are a sculpted woman holding birds and plants and her companion, a red-crested bird.


In a sunny spot at the edge of a field, I found another small garden room. At the end of the path, arches of rebar stand out against the sky.


Beneath the rebar arches, a sculpted planter draws the eye…


…to a view of the field beyond.


The ground-level view is lovely too, with contrasting foliage colors and textures.


As our visit drew to a close, I lingered near the house, where I found this tiered birdhouse…


…and an alert dog watching from the hydrangeas.


He looks friendly, doesn’t he?


As I reluctantly headed to the bus, I overheard Vicki asking Wouterina about a lovely little euphorbia.


Like giving gardeners everywhere, Wouterina immediately offered her a division. Lucky Vicki!

My thanks to Wouterina for sharing her magical creation with us. And huge thanks to the organizers of the Minneapolis Garden Bloggers FlingAmy Andrychowicz, Kathleen Hennessy, and Mary Lahr Schier — for all their work in putting together a wonderful weekend of garden tours, happy hours, and dinners! If you’re a garden blogger and are interested in attending next year’s Fling, it will be held in the Capital region — Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, and Maryland — and hosted by Tammy of Casa Mariposa (click for early details). Hope to see you there!

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing many of the gardens of the Minneapolis Fling. For a look back at Part 1 of Wouterina De Raad’s Mosaic Sculpture Park, click here. You’ll find links back to all my Minneapolis Fling posts at the end of each post.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

My article about Voorhes’ homestead garden in Austin Home


A homestead garden in the city? You bet! I’ll show you the productive garden of Adam Voorhes and Robin Finlay — a commercial- and editorial-photography team (and married couple) known as The Voorhes — in the Summer 2016 issue of Austin Home, which you can find on area newsstands now.


I wrote and photographed the article, which is a first for me. I had the pleasure of interviewing Robin and Adam last fall. Their garden designer, B. Jane, whose work I love, and their bulldogs, Lefty and Lucy, made it into the shoot too. Well, Lefty did. He’s the more social one.


Adam and Robin’s garden is all about, What can it do for me? They have a large winter-vegetable garden, citrus trees and loquats for fruit, a pecan tree for nuts, a beehive for honey, chickens for eggs, cisterns for water collection, and a clothesline for energy-efficient drying. Even their custom, trough-style water feature is more than merely decorative: it provides water for their bees. They also grow herbs for cooking and pollinator plants for the bees.


B. Jane packed a lot into their smallish lot, but it doesn’t feel overcrowded thanks to the openness of a small lawn in the shade of the pecan and a generous, straight-edge path that defines the lawn and provides access to the working areas.

Check it out, if you can get your hands on a copy. There are several other garden articles in this issue as well. Update 6/16: You can read the article online too.


Also in this issue, editor Gene Menez interviewed me for a nice mention of my book on page 44, which I appreciate. I got a kick out of the title, “Penick’s Little Green Book,” which you golfing enthusiasts may recognize as playing off Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book. At least once a month someone will ask me if I’m related to Harvey Penick, a legendary and beloved golf instructor from Texas. (The answer is no, but my husband is, distantly.)


I leave you with one last image from the Voorhes’ garden: their dog Lefty and his ball, and their easygoing patio ready for summer relaxation.

I welcome your comments; please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading this in a subscription email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post.
_______________________

Digging Deeper: News and Upcoming Events

Do you review? Have you read my new book, The Water-Saving Garden? If you found it helpful or inspirational, please consider leaving a review — even just a sentence or two — on Amazon, Goodreads, or other sites. Online reviews are crucial in getting a book noticed. I really appreciate your help!

All material © 2006-2016 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

Follow