Sunday, May 12, 2013

Gardens on Tour in Austin: Kathy Cove Garden

In honor of National Wildflower Week, the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center held their annual garden tour in Austin on Saturday.  I joined Pam Penick of Digging, Catherine Jones of The Whimsical Gardener, and David Cristiani of The Desert Edge for the tour of five gardens. There's always a sense of anticipation when the gates open on a garden tour, and this tour was exceptional for its quality and mix of properties.

The gardens were labeled by address so the first garden we visited was Kathy Cove. 


Nice entry with the vintage metal on the fence.  What will we find behind the gate?


What we found were gorgeous views.  Add in a great landscape design, cactus collection, and interesting art.  An awesome start to our tour.
 

The cactus appears to be an Argentine Saguaro.


 

The homeowner worked with Environmental Survey Consulting for the hardscape over several years and developed his own planting scheme with a selection of native plants.  A look back up the hill to the front gate.  Stair-stepped stone walls are used to house an extensive collection of cacti and succulents. 


 Niches and openings in the rocks hold plants.  A rock water bowl provides a natural bird bath.



Just one of several nice pieces on display in this part of the garden



A stone wall fern grotto is a beautiful way to hide the underside of the deck.


The wall creates a lush tropical retreat along the pool


The serene walkway along the back of the house features small water gardens


Bronze eagle overlooking the slope.  Wow.



Virgin of Guadalupe with an unusual crown and halo


A wheel bearing and spark plugs!


Stone steps lead up to a deck on the kitchen level with a piece of slag glass as accent



A stunning view of downtown Austin



Outdoor dining



The flow of this deck level is through the breakfast room.  This view is looking back at the outdoor table from the south deck above the fern wall.



This container on the north side of the house evokes the fern wall and water around the corner.


More stepped terraces on the north side of the house.


 Trails lead to natural areas of the garden which is being restored with native plants.

 

None of us wanted to leave these peaceful gardens and mesmerizing views.


The landscape designers left us with this quote made of natural karst stones


"I like it when the land speaks its own language in its own regional accent."
Lady Bird Johnson

On to the Westridge Drive garden which is an even more modern design and will be covered in my next post.

16 comments:

  1. Shirley, I enjoyed visiting with you during the tour. I also like seeing what you saw through your post. You caught several things I missed, like that natural bathing pool for birds.

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    1. Thank you for inviting me on the tour Pam, I enjoyed the day very much.

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  2. Wow that is an amazing garden. Do you think the bird pool is sealed with anything or do they just fill it up all the time? I have a similar large piece of rock in my front yard that has a natural hollow but I can't keep water in it for the life of me.

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    1. I think the rock was chiseled out deeper which would keep the water from evaporating or splashing out so quickly.

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  3. Helotes yardenerMay 13, 2013 at 4:24 AM

    Thank you so much for sharing the pics of your tour! I just discovered your blogsite and find it a wealth of information. I will soon be xeriscaping my very rocky Hill Country backyard and am finding lots of inspiration in your pictures. I wish you had a "contact Me" function. I would like to ask if you can recommend any professional landscape designers in S.A. It would be impossible for me to handle the boulders and digging required to style my yard as I envision.

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    1. That's so nice to hear that you have found inspiration for your own yard here in my blog.

      Because each project and client are so different I don't have a specific recommendation for landscape designers. If you already know what you want a contractor might be able to complete the work.


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  4. I didn't catch much of what you did...thanks for showing it through your eyes. The trickle / seep of water over the fern wall, the powerful effect of the eagle sculpture placement, and patio / pool deck angles you caught included!

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    1. It was a beautiful site and the careful placement of the elements in the garden just enhanced it. The eagle on the cliff was particularly nice.

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  5. I love it when several bloggers tour and post about a garden because of the differences in what each one notices and photographs. This looks like a wonderful garden and it sounds like you all had a great time!

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    1. We did have fun, they are good touring companions. Enjoy seeing all the other views of the five gardens we toured.

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  6. Oh goody! You know how I love garden tours.

    The iron pillar with patches of color and matching pot looks good.

    Where in the world does anyone find those little stones in the form of letters? It must take a LOT of picking through a very large pile of stones.

    Looking forward to seeing the rest of the gardens on tour on your blog and the other blogs.

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    1. He brought the rocks in and arranged it on site so he must have a collection of them.

      I'll be posting more this week.

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  7. There was so much that was just gorgeous...love the simple displays of nature and the natural garden...even the pool looked like it belonged there.

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  8. Between your post and Pam's I almost feel like I've been there...well, with the emphasis on the "almost". Your tours in Austen are fabulous.

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  9. Beautiful garden. That view is magnificent, and adds so much to the feel of the garden. I also love the rock water bowl.

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  10. Thanks for showing us so much of this garden, not just the garden, but the house and hardscape and the view as well. It helps so much to set it in context. I love all the unusual rusty garden ornaments too!

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