Christy Ten Eyck is an award-winning landscape architect with offices in Austin and Phoenix. This was a much-anticipated opportunity to tour her personal garden in Austin. For more on the background of this garden check out Pam Penick's two posts on this same garden at her blog Digging.
Large agaves with native flowers are living sculptures along the street.
An existing wall was removed to make the property more visible. I'd rather look at these agaves than a wall from the street.
The Cor-Ten steel steps with crushed granite are a counterpoint to the natural forms of the native limestone boulders.
Another agave, sotol and other native plants along the steps.
The style is very Central Texas with stones removed from the backyard used to line the beds and walkways in the front, making this the garden on the tour I could most relate to since we have employed the same strategy with our rock. I took lots of pictures of the stone placements for my idea file.
Massed native grasses, flowering plants, and understory trees soften the edges and add dimension to the mature live oaks. An existing asphalt circle drive was removed to allow more garden space in the front.
The large stone grinding wheel with agave in the middle is the focal point replacing the old drive.
There is no lack of privacy here, the native plantings and mounds of bamboo muhly provide screening.
More pathways wind throughout the yard.
Toward the property line the plantings become denser and more natural.
Herbs and vegetables right out in the front yard
Meyer Lemon along the driveway behind the vegetable garden.
Drifts of white mistflower or boneset were blooming just in time for the tour.
Looking to the right of the house we see this large oak tree and seating area with yellow butterfly chairs providing a bright spot of color. Agaves are spaced among the sedge below the tree. We also get a glimpse of Christy Ten Eyck discussing the garden with visitors.
The gate of steel mesh opens into a side garden
An interesting reversal is the more formal environment of the side and backyard while the informal garden faces the street. This great looking outdoor fireplace with seating would be a special place to spend an evening.
This niche in the wall nearby held a sculpture made of old radiator parts.
In the corner by the gate, another simple planting with a container arrangement mixed in.
This is for my friend Ragna who recently shared a cutting of variegated purple heart. This plant was used throughout the gardens. I enjoyed seeing so many plants that we enjoy in our own gardens.
Around the back of the house steps lead down into a narrow courtyard where a fountain is set between the main house and the guest house/studio. The water from the negative-edge fountain disappears into the gravel. Bamboo muhly softens the rectangular geometry.
Precisely placed steel steps down from the back door. These are finished with small pea gravel to match the courtyard.
Across the way is the entrance to the guest house and studio with a cute little shoe scraper--necessary when gravel is used as a walkway.
Succulents in planters means easy maintenance and maximum visual effect.
On the way out to the front I paused to admire this stone trough fountain with a space for planting
And details like this tiny succulent planter.
Time for a few last looks at the front before heading to our next garden. Native asters and other wildflowers soften the yucca, sotol and agave.
Getting up close and personal with the big agave
This is a garden with similar challenges to my own landscape and offers several ideas I could take away for my own inspiration file.
We'll soon see more of the work of Ten Eyck Landscape Architects in San Antonio since they have been chosen to rework the front entry and parking lot areas at the San Antonio Botanical Gardens.
The Garden Conservancy Open Days supports the preservation of special gardens like Peckerwood Garden near Houston.