My last Austin post! I'm not sure why this particular garden is the one that wraps up my 2018 Fling coverage, it didn't plan it that way...but it is a beautiful one to end on.
Part of the owner's description: "My garden is all about pollinators, native plants, and taking advantage of views and natural surroundings. We live on top of a hill overlooking downtown Austin, the Texas Capitol, and the UT Tower. We have a couple of micro-climates on the 2-acre property: hillside and top of the hill. The steep hillside, cool in the morning and blazing hot in the afternoon, is a wildflower meadow." Yes it is, and beautiful one...
The steep driveway led us up to the house and main garden.
There were many beautiful plantings to stop and admire along the way.
More from Ruthie... "We wanted a space for entertaining, and we wanted it filled with bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and moths. We have definitely accomplished that! Now I am busy teaching my grandchildren that bees are our friends and will not harm them."
Up at the the "compound" (it really is much more than just a house)...
Ruthie and her husband (I've sadly forgotten his name) were so welcoming to our group. They invited us to walk through their home and experience the view as it unfolded in front of us...
Some of our group were invited up to view the surroundings from a lookout on the roof, sadly I missed that invite.
Think of the parties you could have out here...
The fuzzy Opuntia which became another "Austin signature plant" for me.
And of course up-staging the humble Opuntia is Agave ovatifolia.
Ruthie listed this section of the garden as her favorite, her Provence garden: "a gravel area anchored by my garden haus, which is made of stone with antique doors, old windows, and recycled roofing material."
It's picture perfect.
10,000-gallon rainwater storage tank.
Of all the difficulties Texas gardeners face (extreme heat, drought, rock) this garden is where I came face to face with what I would consider the biggest obstacle of all. Focus on that tall shrub in the center of this photo. Let your eyes wander up, coming to rest on that dark spec at the top of the stone window edge.
Yep. That's a furry tarantula. I grew up in black-widow and rattle snake country, but there's something about how BIG and FURRY this guy is that just sends me. No thank you.
More Farfugium japonicum...
And a couple of flower shots...
The garden dates to 2012, but one of the challenges that Ruthie noted about her garden involves the wildflower meadow on the hill near the entrance/exit: "The wildflower seeds tend to float to the bottom of the hill from one year to the next, so they constantly need to be replenished. I keep thinking: "Now I've got it finished!" and each year reminds me that it will always be a work in progress." "Always a work in progress," isn't that gardening?
I thought I snapped a better photo of the entrance gate and their flanking Cylindropuntia, but I did not.
At least I got a close-up of a flower.
Weather Diary, Jan 7: Hi 48, Low 37/ Precip 0
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