This past weekend I attended the first annual San Antonio Herb Society Garden Tour
along with my friend Ragna. The tour showcased a wide range of neighborhoods and gardening styles with enthusiastic owners and volunteers ready to answer questions from visitors. I'll share gardens from the tour throughout the week. The first garden is a colorful cactus garden in northeast San Antonio.
Marty Ruona is known as "Cactus Marty", so when we saw his garden would be on the tour, we could hardly wait to visit. It was even better than anticipated because there's a lot more to his garden than cacti, succulents, and palms.
From the street the garden is beautifully designed and, despite the prickly plants, invites you in.
Traffic cones in front of the house meant the full effect of the street view was not blocked by cars. The manicured lawn is a lush counterpoint for the all his spiky plants.
The side yard is just as uniquely impressive
One of several carved opuntias on display
The front walk
Colorful containers painted by Marty are featured throughout the garden. These are along the driveway.
The front yard from the side manicured lawn with a colorful tire planter, the best I've seen.
Marty was there to greet visitors and answer detailed questions. Here he is with Ragna.
Turn up the volume on Waylon, Willie, and the boys. We're headed around back to the party zone where tequila tastings are a regular event.
When he's not working on client's projects for his landscape design business, he's using reclaimed wood to build colorful garden furniture and plant displays. The vintage turqouise Weber grill is one of a collection on display. The house is painted with 13 different colors.
A shade house converts to a greenhouse in winter. Marty purchases plant collections from those who can no longer keep them.
The back of the greenhouse is landscaped like a botanical garden
At the end of the trail is a place to sit while admiring an enormous beaucarnea
and the rest of the collection.
Desert garden humor
Hanging basket Marty style
My thanks to Ragna for sharing her photos of some of the details of the shadehouse, including this miniature "Cactus Marty sign below.
The San Antonio Herb Society tour benefits culinary scholarships to St. Philip's College here in San Antonio. The San Antonio Herb Society also
is one of the sponsors of the popular San Antonio Herb Market
event held each year by the Herb Market Association. This year the market is on October 20th at The Pearl.