That said, at least this time I had it all to myself! My previous visit, back in 2018, was with dozens of other bloggers as part of the Austin Garden Bloggers Fling (my post on that visit can be found here).
Rather than starting out at the front of the house, this tour will begin as I walked off the back porch tucked in between the living room and the master bedroom. I loved looking out at the pool through a jungly surround of foliage.
Since my last visit Pam's Austin sign has moved from one of the short colorful walls at the backside of the pool, to the fence at the back of the garden, I like it there. The green "groundcover" is Justicia spicigera, aka Mexican honeysuckle (thanks Pam for this ID and several others).
Here's another photo of the garden looking out across the pool.
Being a Pacific Northwest gardener I can't imagine giving over that much of my gardening space to a big bowl of water. Then again, put me in a summer of Texas-style heat and I might be begging for it!
Also against the back fence are this pair of stately Yucca rostrata and some of that Texas limestone. Note the blue wall that backs the pool...
...here's the far back side of the house (with it's generously sized deck), from behind that wall and the agave perched atop.
Yucca rupicola, I believe?
Callicarpa acuminata, aka Mexican beautyberry
Pam has been gardening here since late 2008, and I should also note, she and David inherited the pool with the house. You'd never know though that it wasn't part of her masterplan for the space, the way the garden flows perfectly around it.
I should have asked for ID on her bamboos, they look so lush and healthy.
Here's that patio I mentioned at the beginning of the post, where I began my garden walk. The roof is a COVID-time addition, creating a year-round gathering space for friends and family.
Another photo, a little lighter, attempting to show the big ass fan (literally) and some of the seating and decor.
Just out of frame in the last shot, a baby of Moby (Pam's Agave ovatifolia)—grown from the tiny bulbils on Moby's bloom stalk.
The plant with the colorful fruit growing in and over the metal agave is Capsicum annuum, aka chile pequin, a Texas native pepper. Had I known it was edible I might have begged a couple of fruit to take home and try!
Looking across the pool to the Yucca rostrata and container-topped blue wall we saw earlier.
I will forever be amazed that Pam and I garden in the same Zone 8, according to the USDA Hardiness map. Aloe maculata, the soap aloe, does so well in her garden, but I've never been able to overwinter it in the ground in mine. Our winter wet is the death of it—hardiness Zones only tell part of the story.
It is however an easy going container plant for me, keep it dry and it can withstand the cold. Blooms are less regular though.
Here's a photo from another day's walk around the garden, you might have noticed a change in the quality of the light?
Looking beyond the pool we see the former stock tank pond area. I know, some of you still haven't gotten over the fact she got rid of that iconic garden feature.
Maybe some gorgeous agave photos will help?
I asked Pam if this stunning plant was a specific cultivar or named variety, her reply: "The variegated agave was an unnamed pass-along from Jennifer at Victory or Death in the Garden. She moved to New Zealand and gave it to me. It was marked as just Agave ovatifolia at the nursery where she bought it, but she spotted the variegation even then."
Not only is it beautiful but it's tough, having survived the horrible February 2021 freeze in Austin that killed many agaves.
Pam's bottle tree survived the cold too.
Here are those Yucca rostrata again, this time seen through the yellow blooms of Salvia madrensis, aka Forsythia sage,.
One more look out over the pool, which I am really starting to see as a garden feature.
These plantings are along-side the raised deck off the back of the house.
The Orbit Planters from Potted are filled with Dyckia choristaminea 'Frazzle Dazzle' and Dichondra argentea.
We're up on the deck now, where there's a table and orange Fermob chairs I didn't get a chance to use while I was visiting.
And another unused (by me) chair grouping.
Just a couple more images in today's post. Here we're looking down at the garden from the deck level.
And here checking out a Hover Dish planter hanging from Pam's inherited crepe myrtle. Come back Friday for a look at Pam's front garden!
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