Garden of E


My Info

Austin, Texas
I've lived and gardened in urban Austin for the past 8 years, after retiring from the last of my several careers. BR (before retirement), most of my life was spent in colder places like Michigan, Missouri, Oregon, Montana, Alaska, and Boston MA. Best thing I've done AR-- becoming a Master Gardener. Other passions-- Austin Farmers' Market, grandchildren, and travel.

photo by Elsa, age 7

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A very happy day

Inside Austin Gardens 2009 will remain a vivid memory for a long time to come. Fantastic weather, appreciative crowds,

kindly comments, cooperative plants (for the most part). My daughter, who comes over a lot, said, “It looks, well… different.” I told her she was missing the hose sprawled on the lawn, the wheel barrow half full of mulch, the shovels and gravel piles that until last week were spoiling the “ambiance.”

It was an altogether fantabulous day, and I have my fellow Master Gardeners to thank for making it so, especially Elaine, the well-organized garden captain, Janelle (everyone loved the plant tags), Rosalie, Holly, Vertie, smart and entertaining speakers Susan and Carolyn, and the many other MGs and interns who made everything run smoothly.

It was so interesting to see what people were drawn to: the Chinese ground orchids (bletilla striata-see previous post) that I got at Home Depot ($3 marked down from $17) after Elaine put me on to them, the gomphrena “Strawberry Fields” that have proliferated from a 4” pot bought 4 years ago and that reseed like crazy, the color combo of them plus the red-leaf hydrangea behind them that Pam caught so nicely in her photo (fooled you Pam, I know it looks like a mini-Japanese maple), the sprightly pigeonberry with its pink flowers and red berries that I had hoped would get noticed, the salvia azurea with its glowing blue blossoms that now is one of my favorites, the blazing red zinnias, the last-minute birdbath of concrete rounds and a handmade bowl (nice photo by Jenny), and the white spiderwort that resembles a starry night in deep shade. Not to mention the manfreda undulata “Chocolate Chips” that some bloggers now covet.

Then there were other things I hope got some attention because they so kindly chose to bloom at just the right time, such as the sweet rose, “The Fairy” next to the sidewalk with its clusters of small , pink blossoms,

and the big indigo spires also spilling over the sidewalk. And I hope people were able to see the new benches full of potted succulents along the driveway fence as they made their way into the back yard.

Oh, if the flame acanthus had just bloomed! The Martha Gonzales roses

are covered with new buds, so drive by next week if you’re in the neighborhood.

Stealing an idea from Randy Case to show "before" pictures, here are a couple from mine in late 2002, the day before I bought the house long-distance based only on these photos:

Strange thing—I spent Saturday evening thinking about all the new things I want to do with my back beds and how much wonderful stuff I saw in the other gardens I can cram into my place by March. I guess it’s a good thing that gardeners never rest on their “laurels.”


  1. I enjoyed the tour---thanks! And thanks too for letting me know about the red-leaf hydrangea. I'll correct it on my blog.

  2. I am now so sorry I missed your house. I had time for only two houses and only made Cheryl and Randy's. It looks like I missed a beauty.

  3. Eleanor, your garden was a fun and beautiful highlight of the tour! After seeing your plant, I snagged a pigeonberry from the plant sale table, and they went into the dirt today. And I also went to HD to see about getting a ground orchid, and the buyer/manager said "someone" had bought them all! Gee, I wonder who that "someone" was????

  4. Nice post - hibiscus pictures ..Keep Posting

    hibiscus pictures

  5. It was great to get together with you again yesterday and see the red leaf hibiscus at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. I'm glad you included the "before" photos. What a difference the "after" is.

    Thanks for admitting that on a "normal" day your hoses are sprawled over the lawn and tools here and there. It's absolutely true in my yard. It's a comfortable trait to find in others.

  6. I just realized that I had not thanked you for letting all of us tramp through your beautiful garden. We enjoyed it so much. We could tell a lot of work and love went into that garden. Now, seeing your 'before' pictures, I see just how much. Good job.
    Thanks again.

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