Saturday, June 27, 2015

NxNA Garden Tour 2015: Monnich Garden

At the beginning of May, the NxNA Garden Tour took place and of the 24 gardens, I managed to visit 19 of them.  It was a busy day.

You can read my other NxNA Garden Tour entries (both this year and last year here).

Ahhh yeah - back to the tour with an emphasis on the garden.  The Monnich Garden was lovely from the front yard.  It's amazing to me how you can just tell driving up to a house if the yard is going to be awesome or if it's only going to be so-so. But then, one of the other garden bloggers once commented that you can always find the house on the street where we're meeting up for our monthly get together just based on the yard alone.

Front yard

St. Francis

A bottle tree on the bank of agave in a sea of misflower

The artist at this garden was Stuart Wallace - his artwork tends to be more contemporary - I really liked the Captain Picard Face Palm piece and the one below.

Councilmember Gregorio Casar was chillaxing at the garden and I kept looking at him thinking, "Man, that guy really looks a lot like Casar.  I mean, it totally isn't him, but they could really be brothers.  I should tell him that he looks like Councilmember Casar; but then he'd think I'm really weird because who the hell knows what the City council members look like?"  In the long run I didn't talk to him only to find out from his twitter account later that is WAS him.  Sigh.  Totally should have gone out of my comfort zone on that one.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

NxNA Garden Tour 2015: Fulk Garden, Ortega Garden, and Gus Garcia Community Garden

At the beginning of May, the NxNA Garden Tour took place and of the 24 gardens, I managed to visit 19 of them.  It was a busy day.

You can read my other NxNA Garden Tour entries (both this year and last year here).

The Fulk garden was a themed container garden - the themes included Mojito and Spaghetti sauce (shown below) there was also a Salsa container as well.  This is a super cute idea and I've told my sister (who just started her own container herb gardens) that she might want to try this next year.  She lives in Colorado, so a lot of her herbs will need to be replanted as opposed to down here where most are perennial.

The main draw of this garden, though, was the artwork of Janet Fulk and Charlotte Barbini.

Mojito Herb Garden Plant list

Spaghetti Sauce herb garden

Janet Fulk Artwork - I really loved the watercolor (I think) of a flapper.  I should have bought one of the prints she had of it, but I had already purchased the bike photo and I figured Shawn wouldn't be happy with another art purchase.

The Ortega Garden is in its infancy, and the main draw here was the photography of John Raymond and the garden artwork of Linda Messier.
Randy must be doing something right since he has a visiting anole.

Garden art.

On my 8th stop of the garden tour, I ended up walking around the YMCA (because apparently I am blind as to where the garden was), but it's okay because they recently finished landscaping the area and it was a very lovely short walk along the Walnut Creek Hike and Bike Trail.

The coolest thing about the Gus Garcia garden was that it included garden tables so the elderly folks didn't have to bend over to garden.  The tables were very sturdy, and they also had actual garden plots for those who wanted to get down on hands and knees to garden.  Unlike the community gardens in some other parts of town, this one had plots that were open and not currently being used.  They also have a huge rain barrel cistern which collects the rain from the YMCA roof - it is gravity fed underground and fills the cistern (like a giant manometer tube - or the newly constructed Waller Creek Tunnel if Waterloo park was the YMCA gutters and the cistern was the outlet)

Entrance sign

The awesome raised tables

The exit from the Senior garden

Raised beds - the tree line behind the fence is where Walnut Creek is located.  I've heard the Hike and Bike trail is awesome, but I wouldn't know because the day I was supposed to bike it, we had a rain storm.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

NxNA Garden Tour 2015: Slattery Garden

At the beginning of May, the NxNA Garden Tour took place and of the 24 gardens, I managed to visit 19 of them.  It was a busy day.

You can read my other NxNA Garden Tour entries (both this year and last year here).

The Slattery garden was the only one (I think) where the artists on hand lived at the residence, and the yard was just as artfully done as the artwork itself - in most cases the yards seemed very heavy on art, or heavy on gardening, but very few covered both equally - the Slattery house was one where they were equal.

Patrick and Joshua's artwork can be seen on his website here: PSArtworks

He also had featured some of his mother's artwork, which you can see here: Pattie C.S. Burke

The front walk

Snail on agave

Dead men tell no tales.

Relaxing in the yard

Artwork - this might actually be art by Karen McGarity - I don't know for sure since I can't find any of her artwork online (or maybe I'm not doing Googlefu right)

From Patrick's website, this piece is called "Black and Blue and Red All Under"

Saturday, June 13, 2015

NxNA Garden Tour 2015: Guillot Garden & Wood Garden

At the beginning of May, the NxNA Garden Tour took place and of the 24 gardens, I managed to visit 19 of them.  It was a busy day.

You can read my other NxNA Garden Tour entries (both this year and last year here).

Third up was the Guillot Garden.  Ms. Guillot is elderly and she's made gardening tables to make it easier for her to garden (there's no bending over).  Her tables are homemade from picnic tables and a kiddie pools covered in weed barrier cloth.

Ms. G had Ethan Ham Photography as her garden artist and he was selling his photos on her back porch.  I was really taken with them and purchased one he took in Italy of a folding bike leaning against a doorway for my art wall. Shawn was very blase' about the whole thing, but I've also found that it's the piece of art that he looks at the most on our wall.

Ms. G showing off her squash bed to some other garden tour folks.

Bird Bath

Tomato Garden Table.

The main draw of the Wood garden seemed to be the secondary structure.  But she did have the most amazing hydrangeas.  Hydrangeas, in case you didn't know have flowers which are affected by the acidity in soil - the more acidic the soil, the bluer the blooms.  In Austin, it becomes much easier to grow the pink blooms because of our naturally calciferous soils.  Of course, I assume that it's easier to grow the blue ones in Houston because the soil is more acidic (think of it this way - places where roses grow well grow pink hydrangeas and places with azaleas grow blue hydrangeas).

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

NxNA Garden Tour 2015: Glass Garden

At the beginning of May, the NxNA Garden Tour took place and of the 24 gardens, I managed to visit 19 of them.  It was a busy day.

You can read my other NxNA Garden Tour entries (both this year and last year here).

The Glass garden is the only one that was also on the tour last year to so I didn't take many photos of the yard and instead took more of the garden art that was available for sale from Garden Charms by Stephanie Frogge and her Etsy shop, Garden Charms.

Froghouse by Stephanie Frogge

Metal art hanging on the fence

A view of the yard from the patio - last year's photo was taken from about where the gentleman in the white shirt is standing.

Garden tag by Stephanie Frogge

Plate flower - I think these are also by Stephanie Frogge, but they don't show up in her online store, so maybe not?

One of the couples I kept running into on the tour through the Gracy Farms area gardens was driving around in this AWESOME classic car.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

NxNA Garden Tour 2015: Adelphi Community Garden

In early May, the North by North Austin (NxNA) garden tour had its second annual tour.  The NxNA garden tour has a ton of gardens so you have to move fast if you want to see every garden, or you have to make some calls on which gardens to visit.  The tour generally covers from Mopac to IH35 from Koenig to Wells Branch.  Last year I think there were 19 gardens and this year there were 24.  Again, the price was only $10.  $10!

Last year I'm not sure if there was a theme, but most of the gardens were water wise - this year the theme was Art in the Garden though it wasn't so much about garden art (like I had assumed) and more like Art and Gardens as almost every garden had an artist in attendance with their artwork for sale.

Every year, the tour starts at 3 gardens where you buy your ticket and pick up a map of the location of the other gardens and then you're on your way.

I'm trying to get out of my comfort zone and actually talk to the owners at the gardens, and I think I did a pretty good job; of course, now that it's a month after the fact, I don't really remember what we talked about or who was who.  Maybe next year I will take a little notebook so I can keep things straight. Though to be fair, it's not like I really planned on waiting a month between the tour and blogging about it, but there you go.

Anyhow, without further ado, here are the photos from the first garden I visited, the Adelphi Acre Community Garden.

The welcoming crew

A garden plot - notice the terra cotta chimneys - those are Ollas from Dripping Springs Ollas - the first time I saw them was at the Sunshine Community Garden sale YEARS ago and they were like $50 a pop or something, now they're around $35 and are sold at many retailers.  Ollas are unglazed clay pots (they kinda look like chimneas) with a lid cover - you fill the pot with water and it seeps out slowly to deliver water to the plant roots. You can find some small ones for potted plants, or large ones like these for your garden plot.  In either case, it really reduces the amount of water you need to use to keep your garden going.

A little kid's owl decoration for the garden.

Lavender.  I tried to grow this once, but failed miserably.

Old coffee cans used as growing collars to keep cut worms and other crawlies away from the tomatoes.

Watering collars for other tomatoes - the divots have drain holes in the bottom of them to more directly deliver water to the roots.

Garden flower - zinnia perhaps?

Many of the plots had buried Ollas (mentioned above), or other buried means of watering the plants - here someone uses milk jugs with holes punched in the sides.  I've used this method a few times with very good success (especially around tomatoes).

Homemade Ollas - I know John Dromgoole (of Natural Gardener fame) is a fan of using any means necessary to deliver water to the roots - even just a buried terra cotta pot with a slightly larger saucer inverted on the top is helpful.  In this case, someone took two pots and glued them together so the pots will be filled with water via the drain hole (which is covered by the rock).  The glass pebbles are glued on to add a little pizazz to the garden.

You can read about my previous NxNA garden tours here