Friday, May 17, 2013

Gardens on Tour Austin: Bonnell Drive

This is the fifth and last garden in my series on the Gardens on Tour for the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin this past Saturday.  I joined Austin bloggers Pam Penick of Digging, Catherine Jones of The Whimsical Gardener, and David Cristiani of The Desert Edge from Albuquerque for a fun day of touring.  You can see the Highland Terrace West garden in my previous post.  

It's not often you get a chance to see the same garden on tour twice in six months.  This was the case with Bonnell Drive which I toured on the Garden Conservancy Open Days tour last fall.  I welcomed the opportunity to visit again in the spring comparing the seasons and seeing the changes since our last tour.  My goal was to focus on areas I didn't cover in detail in my previous post and I did that somewhat although the major focal points shouldn't be missed on any visit.  The opuntia were blooming this time adding a dash of yellow to the silvery and green foliage visible streetside.

I couldn't resist another shot of agave and dyckia in the silver ponyfoot groundcover.

The house siting, with its low reveal from the street, is important to the experience of the garden so I decided to feature it again from a slightly different angle.  The house was designed by Miro Rivera Architects, the same firm designed the house on Westridge Drive also featured on this tour.  The Landscape Architect was Curt Arnette of Sitio Design in Austin.

This trip I got better shots of the driveway strips of concrete with permeable gravel in between.  (Note the unique use of a cooler as a lawn ornament!?!)

The front walk repeats the driveway style.  The agave and dyckia here are set in black gravel popular in Austin.

The sculptural fountain is a beauty, worth featuring again.

I don't remember the planter in this grassy area near the fountain from before.

The terraced dry garden area just past the fountain

The trail through the natural area is greener in the spring

Last time these chairs were arranged in front of the fountain, I like them much better here.

More details of the thick stone steps throughout the garden

I had to get another shot of the Agave ovatifolia on the steps leading to the pool deck.  Love that plant!

A view over the edge of the pool

 A better view of the large lawn between the fountain wall and the street.

And of course the view of the city from atop Mt. Bonnell.  This was taken from the corner where we parked the car.

That's the tour of the private gardens and my next stop was the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center which I will post about soon.

The five gardens showcased a range of gardening and landscaping styles, providing visitors with an excellent overview.


  1. Ooo, I do so love this garden! What a special place.

  2. Such a gorgeous and serene place. Love this garden!

  3. I am really enjoying your tours of these spectacular gardens!

  4. The people who own the gardens featured on this tour really know how to live. It's fun to swipe ideas to adapt to our much humbler surroundings. Thanks for an excellent job of chronicling each garden.

  5. Love the view of Austin! That is a well-planned garden! But not too formal, so it still has a down-to-earth, welcoming feel. Thanks so much for posting about gardens on your tour!

  6. What a great space - the natural trail is incredible - well everything is incredible. I love that pool too - is it a retaining wall pool?

    1. The side of the pool where I took the photo is a tall concrete wall when viewed from below.

  7. The convergence of good taste and healthy budget converge strike once more...I wish I hadn't missed the driveway gaps / pattern!

  8. I am so glad you all enjoyed the tour of these special Austin gardens. Amazing what a healthy budget can do, but we can all take away some ideas for our own landscapes.


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