Now that the Death Star has (finally!) begun its seasonal retreat, it’s time for us gardeners to venture forth, squinting, from our air-conditioned houses and actually enjoy spending time in our gardens again. And as we survey the figuratively charred state of our gardens and await Austin’s “second spring,” it’s the perfect time for a garden tour to grant us some new inspiration and enthusiasm. Fitting that bill nicely, this year’s Inside Austin Gardens Tour is on Saturday, October 17th. Organized by the Travis County Master Gardeners with the theme “For Gardeners, By Gardeners,” it features 6 private gardens and one public garden. The garden bloggers were treated to a preview tour this past Thursday so we could give you the scoop.
First up is the south Austin garden of Lois Pesz, which wows with lush and colorful plantings starting right at the curb.
Lois favors a mixture of native plants and well-adapted ornamentals with dramatic foliage, most notably evergreen yucca, the dramatically-arching deep purple-hued “Princess Caroline” fountain grass, purple-burgundy spikes of dykia, and the glossy black-purple of ornamental peppers. The repetition of flower and foliage hues and forms unifies the front garden design.
The front lawn is a gently curving wide path that creates a quiet negative space that tames the exuberant plantings. The lawn is edged with nearly invisible root barrier edging. Round rocks are set inside that border as the visible edging, creating clean lines for the lawn and greatly reducing maintenance.
Certain color and form combinations echo each other throughout the front garden. Here the purple ornamental pepper and blue-green spikes of softleaf yucca echo the shape and color of the dramatic Princess Caroline pennisetum purpureum behind it.
Moving to the backyard, you’re greeted with the unexpectedly dramatic foliage of giant okra.
The Inside Austin Gardens Tour is October 17th from 9 AM to 4 PM. Tickets are $20 for all 7 gardens or $5 per garden. You can also buy your ticket to all of the gardens for $19 here. More information can be found on the Inside Austin Gardens Tour website.
See you on tour day!