Garden bloggers from across the country stepped off a bus into a pouring rainstorm at the garden of Diana Kirby early in May.
Many took cover under a cabana by the pool. Others hunkered down on a covered patio. A few took advantage of her hospitality and remained inside her home. Hard core garden walkers, donned in rain ponchos and holding umbrellas in one hand and cameras in the other, ventured into the garden.
Beautifully planted containers adorned the pool.
A kitchen garden, enclosed by a fence to keep deer out, held a variety of herbs, vegetables and the largest artichoke I had ever seen.
An arbor built around a rustic door led to a woodland garden.
Visiting a garden when it’s raining might cause some to pout, and while it was disappointing I couldn’t spend a lot of time exploring Diana’s beautifully designed landscape, I thought it was also a blessing in disguise. It’s easy to miss the details when you are smitten with grand landscape design, but rain-soaked socks and squishy shoes slow you down, opening your eyes to the smaller elements in the garden.
Diana has an eye for creating vignettes and they were displayed throughout the garden.
I was also reminded of a valuable lesson that would have been missed on a sunny day. Diana had designed her landscape so it could be enjoyed from inside the house, too. The views of her garden through windows were impressive, and every room had a different, but equally beautiful, view.
This is Diana’s favorite spot of the garden and she has the perfect view from the breakfast room. Here, she sits with a cup of coffee and watches birds at the fountain and feeders.
With a view like this, who could resist a dip in the pool on a hot summer day in Austin?
Diana’s garden was so lovely, even in the rain, and its lessons were not wasted on this gardener. As soon as I returned home, I started considering ways to improve the views from the windows in my own home. What have you learned from a friend’s garden? Share them and garden with me!
A note about Diana Kirby: She designed gardens for friends before starting her own garden design business – Diana’s Designs Austin. Check out her website to learn more about her business, read her blog or check out articles she’s written for the Austin American-Statesman. Diana was also one of the organizing team who made the Garden Bloggers Fling in Austin possible. Thanks, Diana!