The Inside Austin Gardens tour is this Saturday, October 20 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. I was treated to a pre-tour with a bunch of other bloggers, so y’all have an idea of what you’re in for. Find out more about the tour, including talks that will be given at each garden, here: http://www.tcmastergardeners.org/what/gardentour.html
The Travis County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden changes a bit every year. I have to admit that I hadn’t been by to look at it in months, and it’s looking great. A lot of the foliage color and contrast right now is coming from the winter greens that just went in: Swiss Chard and various lettuces and cabbages. Pumpkins and melons are currently ripening on the ground and on teepee supports. The garden is also filled with flowers that attract butterflies and bees and other pollinators. It’s a nice mix of functional and decorative, and also instructive in how to plan for sun and shade on your site, as they have the warm season veggies that need more sun closer to the road out of the shade, and shade-loving perennials closer to the front sidewalk where the large trees cast more shade. Locations are very carefully selected and in spots, veggies are mixed right in with annuals and perennials.
As an added bonus, I’m a big fan of these curbside plantings next door to the demonstration garden. I doubt they ever get watered, and you can’t beat a well-designed, super low-maintenance sculptural sort of xeriscape in a spot like this. It’s such a nice change from straight-up gravel or a tortured-looking strip of Bermudagrass and crape myrtles. Two thumbs up from me. If I was less of a plant geek, this is what my yard would look like.