Lucinda Hutson’s Easter-egg colorful garden

Author and designer Lucinda Hutson‘s gabled purple cottage and garden in the Rosedale neighborhood of Austin is as colorful as a basket of Easter eggs…

…but even better because it contains scented petals, billowy texture, and something blooming at every turn, like this ‘Julia Child’ rose.

When Lucinda invited me over last week to see her garden in spring bloom, I knew I’d be in for a colorful treat. She’s always painting the walls of her house or garage or fences some vibrant color, like mango, yellow-gold, or hot pink, and this visit was no exception. A new cobalt-blue fence along the former driveway sets the tone for an under-the-sea garden of succulents, complete with a mermaid. In back of her house, a vibrant purple paint was still wet on the siding.

Matching pots of pink pelargoniums and silver dusty miller welcome you at the front stoop.

To the right, under the shade of a ginkgo tree, Lucinda screened her neighbor’s driveway with a board fence, inset with vine-covered lattice panels and adorned with birdhouses.

She’s experimenting with creeping Jenny and ajuga groundcovers here in the shade. They got awfully thirsty last summer, she said, but they look great now. The little pink house on the left is a kitchen-scraps composter.

Chard and herbs grow alongside ornamentals like Jerusalem sage in the sunny front garden.

The light illuminates chard like stained glass.

Another buttery blossom from the ‘Julia Child’ rose

Looking left of the house, you see a walled garden where the driveway used to be. A lattice arbor over the gate echoes the tall gable of the house.

Just inside the gate is the mermaid garden and a little patio with seating for two.

A tiny pond built against the wall houses a mosaic fish and is decorated with a mermaid basin.

Looking down the driveway-turned-garden you see a purple garage (converted to storage), with an exuberant vegetable garden in front.

Red poppy

Lucinda is liberated from the notion that the side and back walls of the house and garage must match the purple front, and they wear festive shades of golden yellow…

…salmon (on the right)…

…and aquamarine, helping to set the mood for distinct garden rooms as you round each corner. This is La Lucinda Cantina, a serving table under a cedar pergola behind the garage.

There’s also a rustic outdoor shower.

A peek inside

Tita the cat gets a little love.

I’ve had the good fortune to visit Lucinda’s home and garden several times, and she’s always the most gracious hostess, serving up punch and sugared Mexican pastries.

Beautiful objects adorn every surface of her charming home.

Carrying the platter into the garden, she plucks roses and other blossoms and tucks them among the pastries for an even prettier display.

Almost too pretty to eat

Lucinda’s pineapple-mint punch, with pansies floating for decoration. Yum!

Thank you, Lucinda, for a delightful visit! Lucinda has another book coming out soon called Viva Tequila!; look for it in a few months.

If you can’t get enough of Lucinda’s Tex-Mex cottage-garden style, visit my other posts about her garden:
Lucinda Hutson’s enchanting garden, April 2008
El Jardin Encantador: Lucinda Hutson’s garden, October 2009
Enchanted evening in Lucinda Hutson’s cantina garden, April 2011

All material © 2006-2012 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

16 Responses

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I can see why you are drawn back to this garden time and again. Such a lovely hostess and accomplished gardener. It makes One’s heart sing just seeing the photos.

    Yes, her garden is a delight, and so is she, Lisa. —Pam

  2. jenny says:

    As colorful as ever and always a delight to take a stroll through her garden with you. Thank you.

    My pleasure, Jenny! —Pam

  3. I love that orange wall and the little chairs!

    Isn’t that a clever wall display? I can never resist taking a picture of it. —Pam

  4. Thanks for taking us along with you. She seems to be a lovely lady, and a great hostess.
    All that color is inspiring. She’s very accomplished at many things, it seems.

    I’m glad you enjoyed the tour, Linda. —Pam

  5. Would love to see and read more about the pretty in pink composter! We are stuck with a nasty green plastic one, which is anyway too big for us.

    I hope Lucinda won’t mind my telling her composter story. I asked about it too, and she confessed that she recently had an encounter with a lot of roaches that had taken up residence in it. She quickly concluded that it’s way too close to her house, and I don’t believe she’s currently using it. ;-) It is cute though. I thought it was a dog house! —Pam

  6. Shyrlene says:

    Pam – thanks for sharing such an enchanting woman, so well reflected in her home and gardens. Absolutely lovely!! (I actually saw your photos on Pinterest before I had a chance to do a ‘favorite garden blogs’ fly-by!) Happy Easter!

    Happy Easter to you too, Shyrlene. I’m glad you enjoyed the tour of Lucinda’s pretty garden. —Pam

  7. Alison says:

    I loved this look at Lucinda’s garden! So colorful, and she seems pretty enchanting too.

    Yes, she and her garden both. —Pam

  8. Indie says:

    I absolutely LOVE it! My husband always makes fun of me for painting so many things with bright colors, but I think everyone could use a little color in their life! Why be boring? Such a cheerful garden! And those pastries look amazing!
    Happy Easter!

    Color is such a mood-lifter, and you can’t help but feel happy in Lucinda’s colorful garden. I’m sure you must feel the same way in your own garden. —Pam

  9. peter schaar says:

    Beautiful photos that really bring out Lucinda’s house and garden! I visited her several years ago, and my favorite part of the garden is that imaginative planter wall across the former driveway. Thanks for taking me back.

    Yes, the wall is a striking feature of her garden, isn’t it? I like that she’s planted cascading plants and agaves on it. —Pam

  10. Dear Pam,

    What festive photos as always, you certainly capture the spirit of my garden! And you delight us all with your beautiful writing, too. Thank you for celebrating my home and gardens…the pastries and punch made me hungry this morning! Spring Blessings to all and good cheer,


    Hi, Lucinda. Thank you for having me and my mom over to visit! We had a delightful time. I’m looking forward to our next visit. —Pam

  11. Darla says:

    I love it when you take us to Lucinda’s. I love her style. Do you have a photo (long shot) of the street she lives on? Seeing her neighbor’s home to the left in that one photo it looks like a very colorful and happy place to live.

    I don’t, Darla, but I can tell you her neighborhood, Rosedale, is very charming, and both of her neighbors have cheerfully painted their homes as well. It’s not Rainbow Row yet, but it’s well on its way. —Pam

  12. Heather says:

    Hi Pam!

    I am so happy that you are back to pictures of Austin gardens….I enjoyed seeing the Houston series you did, but ….well…yawn. You are back to funky! LOVE IT!

    Ha! Austin does have wonderfully individualist and colorful gardens. I am sure that Houston does too, but you are right, they were not represented on the Open Days tour this year. —Pam

  13. Cynthia says:

    What a great imagination she has! I’m looking around my house, hmmmmm . . . .

    Or in your garage for cans of paint? :-) —Pam

  14. This garden is always such an inspiration and the changes make it a new story each time as well. Just so much fun and I love all the color there.

    It truly is a fun garden, Shirley. I’m glad you enjoyed the post. —Pam

  15. Scott Weber says:

    I have to agree, Pam…as impressive as some of the Houston gardens were, they can’t even touch the charm and personality you have in your home town…especially in this case! I love how you can really get a sense of the owner/gardener from the garden! I can feel the love and passion in every photo.

    The grandest garden can’t compare to one tended by a talented, devoted gardener. The spark of personality is what brings it to life. —Pam

  16. I was in France when you posted this, so I’m catching up on some favorite blogs. I love every photo, every vignette of Lucinda’s garden. Truly inspirational (and a bit daring, too).