Feeding the soul in Jenny’s garden

While my dad was in town last week, I invited us over to Jenny Stocker’s garden for a visit, knowing that it would be spectacular at this time of year. Jenny, who blogs at Rock Rose, kindly overlooked the pushiness of my request by not only welcoming us for a visit but serving us lunch on her terrace. What bliss!

I’ve photographed and written about Jenny’s garden before (links at end of post), so I won’t attempt to give you a logical, logistical tour this time. Instead, with minimal comments, I offer an impressionistic stroll through her lovely garden.

Mealy blue sage stands tall behind a bird bath, with Texas bluebonnets and winecup in front.

Salvia greggii, with a backdrop of poppies

Jenny’s swimming pool is framed by flowers, including these orange California poppies.

More California poppies

Texas bluebonnets and mealy blue sage

One of Jenny’s many seating areas. They all have beautiful views.

Rose campion, with its silvery green foliage, and columbine

Red corn poppies

A climbing pink rose stretches across one of the stucco walls that enclose her garden.

‘Bloodspot’ mangave

Pink poppy and bee

An elegant terracotta plaque hangs on a wall.

This pillar with a bowl anchors a tiny thyme garden. Larkspur blooms against the far wall.

A wide shot of Jenny’s sunken courtyard garden

Pink larkspur, with lamb’s ear and columbine

A bird bath in the rose garden creates an eye-catching focal point through the doorway of a thick stucco wall.


Gulf Coast penstemon, with poppies

A hybrid columbine

More mealy blue sage

Pink Salvia greggii and orange California poppies

Cacti and succulents in a container planting.

Foxglove, the first I’ve ever seen in Austin

Yellow columbine

The stiff silhouette of a yucca contrasts nicely with the billowy flowers.

A closer look

More Gulf Coast penstemon

Jenny’s garden is wildlife-friendly, as this wall ornament attests.

My thanks to Jenny for the visit and a delicious lunch, and my gratitude to her for feeding my soul as well with her beautiful garden.

Past visits to Jenny’s garden:
April 2009: Jenny’s flower-licious walled garden
April 2008: Meeting Carol & a tour of Jenny Stocker’s garden

All material © 2006-2010 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

37 Responses

  1. Les says:

    Wow, your photos of this stunning garden are… well stunning. I have learned that the best trick to good photography is to start with good subject matter and this garden looks truly remarkable. The Salvia greggii with the Poppies in the back looks like a child’s birthday party.

    Thanks, Les. Yes, Jenny’s garden certainly offers good subject matter. It’s rich in flowers but has great hardscaping and focal points too. —Pam

  2. Judy says:

    Beautiful garden. Absolutely gorgeous pictures. Thank you, Pam, for this glimpse of a delightful shot of a wonderful place. The closeup of the California Poppy deserves framing and display. Or maybe to be made into a jigsaw puzzle. Wouldn’t that be fun?

    That would be fun, Judy. It would be a good way to enjoy the poppies in winter. —Pam

  3. Gail says:

    Pam, Jenny’s garden is incredibly beautiful. I cannot choose a favorite photo~they are are delightful. Sighing with appreciation! Thank you for a wonderful tour!! gail

    It was my pleasure, Gail. —Pam

  4. Caroline says:

    My garden wants to be like Rock Rose’s when it grows up. (I don’t have the heart to tell it that not every child grows up to be President!) Thank you for sharing these glorious photographs.

    I’m glad you enjoyed them, Caroline. Yes, Jenny’s garden is an inspiration. —Pam

  5. I love the feeling of abundance combined with the variety of flowers and colors. I always end up sacrificing the latter for the former and am disappointed.

    It’s harder to get a lot of color in the shade, MSS. You and I will have to settle for mostly green gardens, and that can be lovely too. —Pam

  6. Frances says:

    What a feast for the eyes and spirit Pam! Between Jenny’s garden and your shots of it, well, words fail to describe the wonder of it all. This could be a book! She really has the eye and flare of plant placement and selection, hardscape and whimsy. A perfect garden.

    Yes, it’s one of my favorites in Austin, Frances. And she’s quite humble about it too. —Pam

  7. Floridagirl says:

    Wow, Pam, those photos are excellent! What a beautiful post! Jenny’s garden is my kind of place…exactly what my garden would be could I ever figure the whole gardening thing out. Blog-reading is so much better than picking up garden magazines.

    Jenny’s garden is full of beauty. I’m glad you enjoyed the pics, Floridagirl! —Pam

  8. cheryl says:

    Again, WOW! Beautiful, inspiring garden and fabulous photos of same. I’ve got to get me some of that Mealy blue sage!! I think its finally going to stop raining and we’re to have more typical temperatures in the 80°s by the weekend. Can’t wait to play in the dirt instead of dally in the mud. Thanks for even more inspiration.

    Here’s to dirt instead of mud, Cheryl. Have fun playing in the garden! —Pam

  9. So lovely! Her flowers are so well integrated with the landscape and hardscape.

    Yes, they are, even though she swears that Mother Nature sowed most of her flowers. Those fantastic walls, paths, and seating areas give the structure needed to pull it off. —Pam

  10. How beautiful. Pictures of Jenny’s garden, never cease to amaze. I can imagine actually standing there, taking it all in, must amaze even more.

    Thanks for sharing your day with us.


    I never tire of visiting her garden, Linda. But I’ve only seen it in spring. One day I want to see it in fall. Of course, her blog is full of wonderful pictures of it year-round. —Pam

  11. Jenny says:

    It was a wonderful visit , Pam, and I so enjoyed meeting your father. I think it was great that you asked if you could come over with your dad. It was very commonplace in England to drop in on people as you were passing by and to ask to visit when you were in town. No one ever knocks on the door here. As usual you brought out all the best in my garden and I even think you managed to capture the color of the rose campion. Thank you so much for another capturing of ” The Glory of the Garden”

    Did I really get that campion? I wasn’t sure. Don’t worry—I’ll never drop in unannounced, but thanks for not minding about my inviting myself over. We had a marvelous time with you in your garden. —Pam

  12. Birdwoman says:

    Beautiful photography. And beautiful garden. My soul is fed, too, just by looking at these pictures.

    I’m glad you enjoyed them, Birdwoman. —Pam

  13. Loree says:

    What a fabulous unexpected look with the swimming pool tucked in amongst all the flowers, beautiful!

    Wouldn’t it be lovely to float on your back in that pool, looking up at all those blazing flowers against a bright-blue Texas sky? —Pam

  14. My, my, that was something. I hope to see her garden in person someday, but Pam you’ve captured how beautiful it is. I love the shot with the yucca, but I first noticed the poppy seed heads. So structural. Thank you and thanks to Jenny.~~Dee

    Poppy seed heads are wonderful, aren’t they? I have some still standing in my garden, but they look so much better mixed in with other flowers, as in Jenny’s. —Pam

  15. Shannon, another Austin gardener says:

    Wow Pam thanks for some lovely shots of Jenny’s garden. I haven’t seen foxglove in a very long time and didn’t think it would survive here in Austin. What a great Spring we are having!

    I didn’t know foxglove would grow here either, Shannon. It seems very English, doesn’t it? —Pam

  16. I would be pushy, too–that’s a GORGEOUS garden! I love all of the hardscaping, and the plants… but especially that mangave. *drool*

    I have that mangave too, Kim. It’s growing in my galvanized succulent trough. You need one! —Pam

  17. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I drool every time I get a glimpse into her garden. You and your Dad are very lucky to have had such a lovely and personal visit.

    We are! Gardeners are a generous bunch, and Jenny especially so. —Pam

  18. That’s one great garden, Pam. Does it make you feel inadequate when you go home? I feel inadequate already.

    Not at all, GG. Similar to how a doting aunt might feel when handing an adorable child back to her mother, I am glad that someone else has the responsibility for keeping this garden looking as good as it does (that “natural” look doesn’t occur without a tremendous amount of editing and weeding). Sure, I’d love to look out on those views every day, but my mostly evergreen garden is, I expect, much simpler to maintain. Leaving me more time to visit gardens and blog about them. See how it all works out?

    By the way, you should feature Jenny’s garden in Southern Living. Or is Austin too far west for your demographic? —Pam

  19. Oh what a lovely garden. Something for me to aspire to in my flower garden.

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

  20. Jenny’s garden is hypnotic. Thanks for the virtual tour. Of course, it’s not just the gardener. The photographer deserves praise, as well. Your love of this garden shines through the images.

    I do love Jenny’s garden, Allan. I’m glad it shows. Thanks for the nice comment. —Pam

  21. Jenny B says:

    What a feast–and I’m not talking about lunch. So much going on in her garden, I can understand why you had to take your dad to see it. The hard part would be leaving!

    So true. We had a wonderful time. —Pam

  22. Denise says:

    I love the way Jenny’s garden has almost a tidal feel, how from the bare hardscape all this amazing flowering complexity wells up and when the flowers recede, the garden is just as beautiful with the stonework alone. I’ll have to check the back pages of her blog to see if she describes designing and creating the garden and her influences. Wonderful photos and post, Pam. What a nice treat for your father, for all three of you.

    I like the tidal metaphor, Denise. Whenever I’ve seen Jenny’s garden during garden tours, she pulls out her photo albums that document the garden’s early days. I’m not sure if she has all that on her blog, but she does have good photographic records of the garden’s beginning. What’s really amazing to me is that she and her husband created much of the hardscaping themselves, from the handmade pavers, impressed to look like stone, to the stone retaining walls and placement of large boulders. —Pam

  23. Town Mouse says:

    Great photos, and what a wonderful combination of plants!

    Thanks for taking the tour with me, TM. —Pam

  24. Jayne says:

    Jenny’s garden is wonderful, Pam. I follow her blog, so I’m familiar with the garden, but to see your wonderful photos puts it in a whole new light. And that stucco wall with the rose rambling over it has given me an idea for a rather ugly cinderblock wall in my garden… Thank you for taking us on a tour.

    Isn’t it fun to steal—I mean, borrow—a great idea from another garden? There’s nothing like seeing good gardens to get the creative juices flowing. —Pam

  25. Cripes, what a nice garden. It’s always interesting to see someone else’ photos of your own garden. The plants are nice, but what great hardscaping and setting she has.

    The garden has great bones, no doubt about it. Thanks for visiting, Jim. —Pam

  26. Jan says:

    What a beautiful garden!!! Pam, your photos are amazing.

    Thanks, Jan! —Pam

  27. Thanks for bringing back the memories, Pam. I remember that one post about meeting me. Gosh, aw shucks. I do love Jenny’s garden and it will always remind me of how you lured me down to Austin for that first garden bloggers’ spring fling. Good times!

    So many good things coincided with your Austin visit, Carol: Garden Bloggers Spring Fling, getting to know you and other bloggers, meeting Jenny and seeing her lovely garden. Good times, indeed! —Pam

  28. I’ve been lucky enough to have been to Jenny’s garden in person and seeing it again in your photos is lots of fun, Pam! How cool that your dad got to visit, too.

    The garden is looking even more abundant with the winter’s rain and so many flowers are wonderful but the hardscape is awe inspiring. Just thinking how every single one of those stone blocks had to be mixed and poured and hauled into place by Jenny & her husband makes my wrists and ankles ache in sympathy.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

    She and her DH worked really hard on all that great hardscaping. That makes it even better—all the love and personal attention that went into its creation. —Pam

  29. Therese says:

    I’ve been seeing an increase in Wild Foxglove, aka False Foxglove, (Penstemon cobaea) in North Texas meadows in recent years. I believe its range also extends down into the Hill Country. They aren’t as showy as Common Foxglove, but might be an interesting substitute for a native Texas garden. These beautiful photos have made me realize that I NEED Gulf Coast Penstemon in my garden! Just exquisite!

    It’s good to know about false foxglove, Therese. I’m not familiar with it and will look into it. —Pam

  30. Austin is in the heart of our target area, Pam. Think Jenny would let me do a story next spring? I’d like to come out and meet some Austin gardeners.

    She must, Grumpy! She must share her gorgeousness with the entire South. It would be great to meet you next spring. I hope to have the chance to show you around some of the gardens of Austin. —Pam

  31. Sweet Bay says:

    Amazing photos of a truly amazing garden. Wowza!

    I’m glad you enjoyed the virtual tour, Sweet Bay. —Pam

  32. Thanks for this tour. It is always informative to see a garden through another person’s eye’s. I really enjoyed the long shots which gave me some new views and perspective on her garden.

    My pleasure, Linda. —Pam

  33. I love seeing this garden! So many people want an English Garden, but here in California that just isn’t practical with our water limitations. Jenny’s created a beautiful alternative that would satisfy the Queen herself! Gorgeous photos, Pam. Just gorgeous.

    Thanks, Rebecca. Her garden is brilliant in so many ways. As you say, it combines a billowy, English-garden style with tough, Texas-friendly plants. A little New Mexico-style is thrown in for good measure with the stucco walls. —Pam

  34. […] Jennys joined us: Jenny Stocker (aka Rock Rose), whose stunning England-meets-Texas garden Steve and Ralph had traveled to Austin to photograph, and designer and writer Jenny Peterson. Jenny […]

  35. […] a charming space—to my mind, a sister garden to Jenny Stocker’s garden (Rock Rose) here in […]

  36. […] garden, especially in spring, read my other posts: Jenny’s flower-licious walled garden Feeding the soul in Jenny’s garden Meeting Carol & a tour of Jenny Stocker’s […]