Saturday, October 3, 2015

2015 Inside Austin Gardens Tour preview


On Tuesday, I joined several Austin garden bloggers for a preview of the Travis County Master Gardener Association's Inside Austin Gardens tour, scheduled for Saturday, October 17 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine! This year's tour gardens feature native and adapted plants that do well no matter what Texas throws at them: shade, sun, drought, deer, you name it, these gardens can handle it! You can see six private gardens and the Travis County AgriLife Extension demonstration public garden for $20 or see a single garden for $5. Proceeds support TCMGA's educational service programs and projects such as the East Austin Garden Fair.

I was able to catch sneak peeks at four of the seven gardens before I had to head back to work:

Cottage Natives
1315 Cullen Ave

This garden features tough, classic plants that are native to the region. It’s also got a bunch of fountains, bird baths and ponds, multiple seating areas including two swings, a veggie garden, a big old rainwater collection tank and lots of ’shabby chic’ decor.

Cottage Natives

Cottage Natives

Cottage Natives


Sunbathing Natives
1012 N Weston Ln

This Austin, Texas garden features native plants that thrive in brutal, full sun. It’s also got one hell of a view of the Hill Country and the Colorado River plus a drop-dead gorgeous pool and patio.

Sunbathing Natives

Sunbathing Natives

Sunbathing Natives


Oh, Deer!
4503 Mountain Path Dr

This garden was designed by nationally-known garden writer Pam Penick, author of “Lawn Gone", “The Water-Saving Garden” and the garden blog Digging. The garden features native plants that are deer-resistant, a stock tank pond, and Moby the whale's tongue agave. This garden looks glorious year-round in all seasons.

Oh, Deer!

Oh, Deer!

Oh, Deer!


Death-Defying Natives
7002 Treaty Oak Circle

This Austin, Texas garden features especially hardy native plants for Austin that require minimal watering. It also has some lovely seating areas, a fire pit and a darling doggie that I expect will be locked indoors on tour day!

Death-Defying Natives

Death-Defying Natives

Death-Defying Natives

The other gardens on the tour are:

Shady Natives
4603 Palisade Dr

Flashy Natives
401 Cloudview Dr

Natives Testing Ground
1600 Smith Rd


I saw the Palisade garden when it was on the tour in 2011, although I hear Sue’s made quite a few changes to it over the past four years. I see the Smith Road garden every time I work the Travis County Master Gardener phone desk (but somehow never manage to take photos of it). I hope to see the Cloudview garden the morning of the tour. I’ll be working as a ‘stroller’ in the Mountain Path garden from 12 to 4 on tour day, so if you’re touring, look for me and say hi! If you don't make it, you can check out more photos on my Flickr page or on the tour's website at insideaustingardens.com.

Words and photos © 2009-2015 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Gardening Gone Wild Photo Contest - End of Summer

As the sun sinks slowly in the West...
Sunset at the Window View
This is my farewell to summer photo entry for the current Gardening Gone Wild photo contest. I took the photo on September 14, eight days before the autumnal equinox, at Big Bend National Park. This mountain formation is called the Window and it's a popular place to hang out and watch the sunset.

If you'd like to enter a photo in the contest, you have until October 9. Click on the link above to read the complete entry rules, and good luck!

Words and photos © 2009-2015 Caroline Homer for "The Shovel-Ready Garden". Unauthorized reproduction is prohibited.