spring fling, part one

What I did on my summer vacation. No, make that, what I did on my spring vacation: Went to Austin, TX. Yes, I remembered to take some snaps to share with y’all. Didn’t bring you any barbeque or ice cold Shinerbock. Sorry. Pictures is all ya get.

I was participating in the first ever annual Garden Bloggers’ Spring Fling thing in Austin TX. With 35 fellow garden bloggers, we started the morning with a docent-lead tour of the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center and the Texas bluebonnets, Indian paintbrush, yellow columbine and pink primroses bloomed as if on cue. Suhweet!

The Center is one of the best designed botanical sites I have ever had the pleasure of seeing. I especially liked the true Texas flavor of the preserve: the architecture and landscape architecture pay homage to the three main groups of Texas residents: the native and Mexican peoples, the German settlers and the ranch families. The entry building is a gorgeous limestone water cistern meant to celebrate the lifeblood essential to Texas land use: WATER. Rainwater is harvested throughout the property and carried via metal aqueducts to other buildings and other plantings. The metal roofs of buildings increase the ability to gather water during typical Texas rain soakings.

Texas limestone is the bane of many a gardener but an abundant and beautiful indigenous building material. The German settlers used it to build their farms and settlements. The humble, affordable and industrial corrugated tin is used for roofing and siding on some of the buildings as it was on working farms and ranches. Shade structures are made of branches and woods harvested locally……as they have been made for hundreds of years.

Next up, Austin’s famous Natural Gardener Nursery. The nursery has several demo gardens, I have included the poppy field and a couple of shots of the veggie garden. This place is all about color. Jeeeeez, I hate that. Not. I so wanted to bring home the copper globe mallow, pink actually, oh, I wanted it. Alas, the smallest they had was a one gallon container and I am so over the idea of packing plants on planes, especially one gallon plants. Arrrrggggh.

Back to the hotel to put up our feet for about three seconds and then to our hostess extraordinaire’s home for Texas-tinis and consumables. Our hostess, Pam, from Digging, has a delightful home, art I want, and makes a mean cocktail. I intend to shamelessly copy her blue bottle tree! Take THAT Boise! I know it is derived from Southern spiritual tradition (wards off evil), but if any body needed to ward off evil, it’s me. Some of you are aware we are in the war of our lives against the evildoers.

And let me tell you something. These folks are garden communicators. And man, oh, man, can they talk! You shoulda been there. To be continued…………