Rain had fallen like cats and dogs most of the morning, but the rain stopped when a bus, filled with garden bloggers, arrived at the garden of Jenny Stocker. We were so fortunate to experience her magnificent landscape without umbrellas. Jenny’s garden was one of the best examples of a landscape divided into garden rooms I have ever seen.
The garden in front of the home was full of natives and other plants that have adapted to Austin’s climate and thin soil.
Walls surrounded her home to keep deer out, creating opportunities for distinct spaces in the landscape. A doorway led to a courtyard garden.
Just inside the door, pots of cacti and succulents welcomed guests.
A pathway along the side of the house led to a small sitting area, perfect for a private rendezvous.
More pots of cacti and succulents positioned on rock walls, built with rocks uncovered while building the house, encouraged continued exploration.
One of Jenny’s garden rooms featured a birdbath in the middle of a circular garden. A doorway in the background gave a hint at another garden room ahead.
Wow! A cottage garden filled with plants that had self-seeded themselves – in a garden whose gardener welcomed their ambition – was a feast for the eyes.
Jenny was showing a praying mantis egg case to a small group of us when this little guy made his first appearance in the world. I wondered what this little fella thought of all the attention as we vied for position to snap photos as if we were paparazzi trying to get the first photograph of a movie star’s newborn.
As difficult as it was to leave that area of Jenny’s landscape, I took a couple steps down into another distinct garden room – the potager.
A garden shed anchored the potager overflowing with flowers, herbs and vegetables.
Even though we hadn’t been thrilled with the earlier rain, folks who live in Austin were happy to have the chance to collect rainwater to use in times of drought sure to come later this summer.
When my kids were in high school and heading out for an evening with friends, I always advised, “Have a lot of fun, but not too much.” I felt like this was the guidance Jenny followed while designing and planting her landscape. It had a lot of plants, a lot of rooms – each with its own character – and it was a lot of fun, but it was never too much. It was perfect.
Garden with me!
Note: Jenny Stocker writes about her garden at www.wwwrockrose.blogspot.com.