Monday, November 5, 2012

Open Days Garden Tour Austin: Jennifer and Fred Meyers Garden

The Garden Conservancy's Open Days tour is among the most anticipated since they try to feature the best gardens in the area.  The tour comes to our region every other year and 2012 is the year for garden tours in Texas including Houston, Dallas, and Austin.  Since there were no San Antonio gardens on tour and the Austin tour looked quite promising, I headed to Austin this past Saturday to join a group of garden bloggers, including Pam of Digging, who generously offered to drive.  Our group included Jean of Dig, Grow, Compost, Diana of Sharing Nature's Garden, and Catherine of The Whimsical Gardener.  I had so much fun meeting them for the first time and spending the day touring six special gardens in Austin.

We began our tour in central Austin at the Jennifer and Fred Myers garden along the banks of Shoal Creek.  This garden had me at the curb.  Visitors and passers-by are greeted with this inviting view of the garden through these old wood church windows. 

Like most gardens, this one is a work in progress and the owners show it that way for the tour.  I found this to be a refreshing approach.  You can see bricks from the unfinished wall project through the windows here.

A front walk to the right features Will Fleming Yaupons formally arranged.  A similar view was on the cover of The Welcoming Garden by Gordon Hayward.

A stone pedestal, urn, and vintage fence pieces anchor a corner of the driveway.

The garden isn't all formality, a casual crushed granite path leads from the driveway to the front walk.

Plenty of agaves, palms, and flowers lend a tropical feel to the garden

The tree in the center of the photo is dead but has been left as is for the texture.  The agave planted here repeat the patterns of the palm trunks.


A more formal stone path leads through this arch to the front walk.

The lovely stone house was built in 1879.  Jennifer Meyers owns Jennifer's Gardens, a special event floral design firm, and her garden reflects her talent.  The bright blue and yellow trim looks great against the limestone of the house.

Lights are strung across the front of the house and there are lights on almost every element of the garden, I'd love to see this garden at night.

The concept of outdoor rooms is elevated to a new level in this garden with an entire house represented in the front yard.

Bed and Bath

Breakfast Room

Living room with this wonderful outdoor rock fireplace.  Lights are wrapping the chimney like a wreath.

The formal dining room is in this beautiful gazebo across the walk.  More lights are on the gazebo.

Trees are wrapped with lights.  The horizontal limbs of this live oak are supported with a small post.

To one side of the house is a small terrace with this lovely vignette of etagere with pottery.

Rustic vignettes have been casually placed throughout the garden

The bright blue trim continues around back.

The orange complements the blue, making both stand out.  Old iron and found pieces are on display here too.

Across the back terrace and down the steps a formal arrangement of container plantings is a reminder of the formal front walk.

Down a lighted path to the lawn along the creek the owners have set up an ampitheater for live music.

One member of our group even snagged an invite to return that evening for the band.  I hope she found time to go and I can't wait to see her post!

This garden was as fun to visit as it looks.  I'll post the other five gardens over the next week.

The Garden Conservancy Open Days supports the preservation of special gardens like Peckerwood Garden near Houston.


  1. Good to see it with your lens, too. I admit, as my last garden, I wanted out! The bed tucked into the space you show, I somehow missed...thanks, and again, so cool to finally meet the curator of Rock-Oak-Deer!

    1. It's not exactly Desert Edge style, totally Texas though.

      It was fun to finally meet the Desert Dweller and tour a few gardens, especially where architecture was the focus.

  2. Wow, those church windows look fantastic in the garden! Love all the color, wrought iron gazebos, decorative pots and stone walls too. Very romantic. Thanks for all the photos!

    I can hardly wait to see the other gardens on the tour.


    1. I certainly thought of you when we toured this garden. It's full of awesome ideas. Pam has more details on her blog today as well.

  3. I'm glad you got a shot of the church windows along the street. I somehow didn't. It was so great to finally meet you and tour gardens with you.

  4. Great to finally meet you as well, I enjoyed this so much. I'm sure we can come up with some ideas for other blogger field trips.

    Those windows were it for me, I took at least five shots. The photos are up on Pinterest now, so feel free to pin away.

    There are other details I missed, especially in some of the other gardens. Interesting to note how different bloggers look at these things.

  5. Like touring all over again, but without the friends to talk about it all! Love the post and definitely got some pics/things I missed entirely!

  6. This would be a spectacular house to see at night. Love the gazebo. Thanks for the tour.

  7. What a lovely LOVELY and grand garden/home. I love all those rooms and artistic touches. I wish I got to go this year - maybe next. I would love to meet all of y'all too. Thanks for the tour Shirley!

  8. You keep taking us to these amazing places. Such a variety of styles, fabulous plants, cool garden art. That iron gazebo dining room, the church windows, the palms and agaves... O.K. I'm back, just had to get out the defibrillator as my heart was racing with all this beauty. Maybe your blog should come with a warning: May cause drooling, elevated heart rate, quickening of breath, and inspiration.

  9. What a great garden to tour. Love their garden decorating ideas.

  10. What a great garden to tour. Loved their gardens and their decorating style. Thanks for taking us along.

  11. Thanks for the tour, Shirley, very breathtaking. For some reason I always feel inadequate when I see stuff like this. :)

  12. Now that's what I call curb appeal. Do they find tourists with cameras hanging around and craning to get a closer look?