Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Inside Austin Garden Tour: The Garden of Lori Daul

The Inside Austin Garden Tour is held each year by the Travis County Master Gardeners.  The chance to see Lori Daul's garden was a big draw for me to make the trip to Austin for this year's tour.

I've seen Lori's garden on her blog "The Gardener of Good and Evil" and Pam Penick featured it on "Digging" last spring.  Lori's garden was also recently featured on the local gardening program "Central Texas Gardener" so I knew we were in for a special treat when my friends Melody and Jeannette joined me on this adventure in garden touring.

Lori's garden is on the south side of Austin and, of the six gardens on the tour, it is the closest to San Antonio which made it easy for us to arrive just after the 9 am opening time.  As expected, she wowed us right from the curb.  Lori has replaced the existing lawn with a gravel garden streetside.  The outsized plants which Lori, a garden designer, has planted in layers make the garden look and feel much larger than the typical suburban lot she started with.

An agave with plenty of yucca and rosemary at its feet greets us at the front walk.

Another agave by the driveway.

Cheerful red poppies beckon along the front walk

Bright gold poppies join in from between the pavers

A tank garden in the front of the house and just behind the street plantings in the above photos features Bamboo muhly which has been slow to recover from our exceptionally cold winter.

I picked up more than a few ideas here.  Lori uses her face planter in an entirely different way than I use mine and I like her use of succulents and the stones to set it off.  She also lifts the planter in the back so it doesn't slant as much.  I might just try that with mine too.

Pink Flamingoes are paired with equally pink roses at the front porch

Fun details like these stars are a charming greeting

Deep borders surround a small lawn in the back garden.

Lori painted the fence blue to make it disappear.  The tanks help elevate special plants within the border like the Agave ovatifolia.

Bright vignettes and shiny mirrors on the shed with colorful pot arrangements for accent.

This waterfeature was a real attention getter.  The vessel was purchased from a local artist.

A vignette at the end of the side yard.  That's a mirror in the gate.

More of those great tank arrangements.  These are fire pit inserts making them easier to level.

This arrangement makes use of the three different sizes of face planters and makes me think I should try to find two more to match mine.  I like the tilt she used.

Yucca Golden Sword looks like a good choice for my garden too so it's going on my list of plants to find soon.

I loved the mixed blues of the bottles on the mesquite limb.

We could have stayed much longer but we had more gardens to visit so we reluctantly headed back to the front.  Along the side yard I spotted this Beschorneria in a pretty display.

Then around to the front porch and another Beschorneria which I hadn't noticed before caught my eye.  

Just as I spotted the second Beschorneria on the other side of the front walk Lori stepped up and said  "I copied you".  Wow, here in this awesome garden was an idea I had featured on my blog.  How sweet, I was truly flattered.  Of course they looked different in Lori's garden which is the beauty of sharing and copying, the next person takes the idea and makes it their own and so it goes.

Just how big are those agaves?  As we were leaving I snapped this photo of Lori on the walk answering questions from her visitors.  That's what we call a good start for an established agave in Texas, they do get that big around here.

We enjoyed our visit to Lori's garden and when Lori visits my garden she just might recognize an idea or two I borrowed from her garden.


  1. This is a good tour of Lori's garden.
    She's a very fun person, with a garden design to match.
    I still need to edit my photos of the preview. But, it's fun to see it through your lens.

  2. Thanks for sharing your tour, Shirley! There are certainly some good ideas there, especially for someone like me who's currently on the look-out for more drought-tolerant plant selections. I'm impressed that Lori labeled her plants - my local botanic garden doesn't even do much of that!

  3. Terrific post, Shirley. I love your point about borrowing ideas from each other. We all do it, and in another's hands (or garden), a borrowed idea becomes personalized. You must be the only blogger to have toured her garden for this tour who didn't take a picture of the pathway rattlesnake though. Did you see it? I have a feeling we'll be seeing THAT idea borrowed in local gardens soon.

    1. The snake is in the photo of the front yard tank but I didn't mention in the text. I did hear one visitor specifically ask about the snake so the word is getting around on that idea.

  4. Wonderful whimsy especially the bottle branch and the face planters...

  5. I'm so glad you ventured up to Austin for the tour. I visited Lori's garden several days before the tour. She's always changing things up and I noticed some new features in your pictures. I love her placement of the flamingos. I think some pet pink flamingos are definitely in my future.

    1. The combination of foliage, pink roses, and the blue-gray of the house worked well and kept them from looking cliche.

  6. Lovely tour. You captured things that I missed and shot some angles I didn't see. It's a great garden, isn't it?

  7. Great tour thank you! The work she put in to this (all those plant labels) really shines through.

    1. The plants were labeled in all the gardens which was quite helpful and saved a lot of time.

  8. Holy agave, batman! That's amazing! Garden envy!

  9. I second Louis's comment...and all the others.

  10. I love this post! It's always so cool to see what different things people respond to in my garden. And man, I can't believe I've become a person who has unironic pink flamingos in her yard. My aunt in Wisconsin sent them to me, and I was going to use them in the bare side yard where the trash bins usually go as a joke, and then I realized they matched the roses, stuck them in the ground, and LOVED the effect. Go figure.

    I enjoy how we gardeners are such a mutual admiration society! I was admiring Vicki Blachman's garden with a bunch of other blogging friends, and she said something like, "Can you tell how many ideas I've stolen from you guys?" And it's true! Seeing other people's creativity is really inspirational.


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