Inside Austin Garden Tour October 2009
October 27, 2009
It took a couple of days, but I think I’m finally rested from the garden tour this past weekend. I had no expectations going into the tour and was completely bowled over by the turnout and the comments and compliments from visitors to my garden. The sentence that played through my head on a continuous loop for the month leading up to the tour was “Is my yard really ready for a garden tour?”. I mean, I just started on the back yard in April. That couldn’t possibly be enough time to get it really looking good enough. Several times a day I would try to accomplish the impossible task of looking at my gardens through the eyes of someone who is seeing it for the first time. Each time my eyes would focus on the passion flower vine and the morning glory bush that both stopped blooming two weeks previously. Or I would worry about the fact that everything under the pecan tree seemed to be suffering from the black death that was brought on by all of the honeydew (aphid poop) that washed out in that big rain back in September. I never expected to hear so many compliments and I am truly humbled by all of the positive feedback. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who visited my garden.
I had a terrific time on Saturday. You couldn’t have asked for better weather. I’m a bit of an introvert, so hanging out with a large number of strangers in my yard for 7 hours was exhausting (but it was a good exhausting). I fell asleep sitting on the couch at about 7 pm. I would wake up and then nod off again and finally decided to drag myself to bed around 9pm. Sunday I got my dogs, Phoebe and Sanko back from my parents (I had shipped them off the night before because I knew that they wouldn’t understand why they weren’t allowed to romp and play with all the people in the yard) and took them for a nice long walk at Walnut Creek Municipal Park. That’s one of their favorite dog parks. Acres and acres of leash free fun.
Here’s a photo of another plant that refused to bloom on Saturday. This is the green tea hibiscus. It was covered in flowers the size of a saucer for weeks leading up to the show and, of course, had 3 nice sized blooms on Sunday as well.
Some of my favorite things about Saturday:
I met a woman who told me she grew up in my house. She lived in my house from 1965 to 1974. She told me about their clothes line, the vegetable garden and the above ground pool that was in the back when she lived here. She said she was going to dig through her photos and try to find some photos of the place back then. The linoleum that was in the house when I bought it was the same that was here when she lived here. I told you that nobody had loved this house in a long time. I was so distracted by what was going on that day that I didn’t even offer to show her the inside. I do have her contact information and plan to be in touch soon.
“I was at another house on the tour and everyone was saying that you have to go see Randy’s garden.” That was by far my favorite compliment. I also loved hearing from so many people that mine yard was their favorite. I certainly didn’t expect that.
Another great thing about Saturday was meeting all of the garden bloggers! That was really terrific. If y’all are reading this, you seemed like a LOT of fun. I’d really like to do something with y’all soon. It was also cool meeting people that follow my blog. I had no idea that so many people read this thing. I promise I will try to be more consistent in posting in the future. I also had several people tell me that they have been unable to leave me messages on here. I will be contacting WordPress about this issue and will post when I have a response.
The comments I heard the most about my yard that day were about the mirror that I have on my fence. I got it for free on Craigslist.org and decided to prop it up there one day and liked the result. It really does look like an opening to another yard. I like the way the base of the pecan tree in my yard matches up with the top of the pecan in the neighbor’s yard at several points in my yard.
This is Patrick’s Abutilon (also known as Flowering Maple and Chinese Lantern for obvious reasons). He was the star of the show in the back yard. It’s hard to believe, but I planted this in the spring (got it at Barton Springs Nursery) from a 4″ pot and it’s now taller than me and covered in blooms. My dogs trample it on a daily basis in the quest for squirrels. It bloomed all summer long. I’ll definitely be planing more of these in the future (and it likes shade to boot!!!).
Many people were wondering where I got the skull that was in the birdbath. It came from the Great Outdoors and they still had at least one left when I was there on friday. I also told many people about Plantfiles, which is the plant search option on Dave’s Garden website.
Anytime I hear of a plant I put “plantfiles” and the plant name in the google search window and search. It brings up a page with all the information that you need to know about every plant you can imagine. I’ve rarely been able to stump this site. It includes photos as well which is very helpful. I can’t tell you how many plants I have passed over because the Plantfiles database informed me that they need acid soil.
As much fun as I had on Saturday, it sure was nice to wake up Sunday morning knowing that I didn’t have to work in the yard. I had a nice, relaxing Sunday afternoon on the chaise with a couple of beers, just me and the dogs and cat. What a great weekend!