Austin Open Days Tour 2010: East Side Patch


There was plenty of Patch magic to go around during the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days tour last Saturday. Designer Philip Leveridge, who blogs about his garden at East Side Patch, his wife Leah, and their two young children seem to derive much enjoyment from their enticing, lawn-free garden (proving you don’t need a lawn just because you have kids).


The Patch is a gardener’s garden and inspiring to anyone who gardens on a budget. Philip has done all the work himself, including making his own paths and patios from decomposed granite and recycled bricks. He grows a lot of his plants from seed and uses volunteers to fill in blank spaces. He has an artist’s eye and boundless creativity, and his love of plants really shows. Pictured above are various salvias in full autumn bloom.


Philip uses a lot of purple and bronze, which complement the colors of his house.


This unusual metal gate at the back of his extra-deep lot gives the illusion of even more garden to explore beyond.


Looking back through it, the striping of the gate’s frame seems to echo the stripes of the variegated ginger and American agave on the right.


A large stock-tank pond and two red motel chairs offer a place for quiet contemplation at the back of the garden.


A palm anchors one side of a rock garden planted with cactus and succulents.


Just off the back porch, a spiraling circle of old bricks makes a dynamic patio, with a circular bed set in the middle.


Horsetail is contained in a galvanized washtub by the porch.


Philip had framed some pictures from his blog and was offering them for sale along the side of his house. I saw this little girl at nearly every garden that day. All dressed up in a sparkly blue dress, she seemed to be enjoying the exploration of each garden.


In the front yard you’ll find no lawn either. The foundation bed is planted with Mexican bush sage (Salvia leucantha), in full purple bloom at this time of year.


Eight-foot-tall amaranthus jostles for room amid light-catching bamboo muhly, prickly pear, yellow bells, and palms.


The pink and purple amaranthus seedheads were fascinating to most visitors.


Philip, aka ESP


What an amazing garden he has created. Thanks, Philip and Leah, for sharing it with us.

For previous posts I’ve written about the Patch, click here:
More magic at East Side Patch garden
East Austin garden blogger party

Tune in tomorrow for the next stop on the garden tour, the New Orleans-style Pemberton Heights Courtyard. And to see the first stop on the tour, the Utility Research Garden, click here.

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

16 Responses

  1. Diana says:

    Pam – oh, thank you for capturing Phillip’s garden – I so wanted to see it, but was just too sick. Your eye for combinations makes for a great reflection of his garden and it’s unique style.

  2. Germi says:

    YAY!!!
    Pam, I was with you in spirit!
    You capture the magic of The Patch so well – I’m sure everyone was mesmerized by the lovely atmosphere Philip has created in this garden. And Leah is such a wonderful hostess! Cap that off with two adorable kids and you have a perfect afternoon. When was there, I was struck by how the kids ran around creating their own play spaces – interacting with the plants and the water … lawn? Who NEEDS it? Not this family!
    You Austin-ites, pushing the gardening envelope for the rest of us! Thank you for this post, and CONGRATS on your post at Martha Stewart! You ROCK STAR!!!
    XOXOIvette

  3. Bluestem says:

    Like Digging, ESP is a favorite garden blog. Your great photos give a new perspective to ESP and highlighted some features I have not seen before.

    I am looking forward to reading your post at Martha Stewart.

  4. Thanks from me also. I spent the previous weekend back in the Hill Country but couldn’t make it back for this. Your pictures were the next best thing.

  5. Some great perspectives of East Side Patch. I find it interesting to compare the internal (the designer’s) and external (a visitor’s) visions of a design. One never knows what will attract someone’s attention or what kind of compositions other designers or photographers will see in a space.

  6. Cat says:

    Beautiful reflections of an amazing garden! I so wish I could have been there but the pumpkin patch called ;-) ESP really is a magical place.

  7. […] in tomorrow for images from East Side Patch, the second garden I toured during Open Days […]

  8. Les says:

    I enjoyed seeing a familiar garden (on-line familiar) from a different perspective and just wish I could see it in person.

  9. Gail says:

    Pam, Phillip is one talented and hardworking garden designer! I love this garden. Beautiful images Pam~gail

  10. […] tomorrow for a tour of Deborah Hornickel’s bungalow garden. To see images from the eclectic East Side Patch, my second stop on the tour, click […]

  11. The only problem with visiting East Side Patch is that it’s so hard to leave! Nice post, Pam ;-]

  12. Scott says:

    What an amazing garden! I’m absolutely drooling over the enormous Amaranthus!!!

  13. fer says:

    Truly an amazing garden. love the wall covered with pictures!

  14. Wow, that picture of the amaranthus, salvia greggii, salvia leucantha, fall aster, yucca, and gazing ball is one for the magazines!!! Gorgeous!!! Thanks for taking us on the tour. I love to go to the Garden Conservancy tours when they are in the DFW area, so it’s fun to go on the Austin tour with you!
    So far this garden is my favorite because of the use of my favorite perennials. Thanks again for the tour.

    That image was my favorite too, Toni. Thanks! —Pam

  15. Layanee says:

    Love this garden. The use of the gazing globe is artistic and as it should be.

  16. […] the other direction, looking up the hill, you see my nod to the East Side Patch: a Mexican gazing ball cradled in the arms of a cedar (juniper) […]

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