Inside Austin Gardens Tour
Visit six eclectic spaces and learn about the delicate art of gardening in Central Texas.
By Megan Russell
The Travis County Master Gardeners Association presents the Inside Austin Gardens Tour May 3. The tour will showcase eclectic gardens throughout Austin. Each garden is an expression of the gardener’s passion for plants, artistic point of view and personality.
“I’m excited that we have six unique gardens to offer for public viewing, five of which are private backyard spaces that can be seen only on a tour such as ours,” says Wendy Buck, head of the organizing committee. “I believe our tour provides a variety of ideas and solutions to current gardening challenges that area residents will be eager to try at their own homes.”
“Those who participate in the tour this year will get to see how one owner turned a small suburban lot in to a lush, private, almost tropical haven. Another persistent owner has successfully tackled the hills of West Austin and grows vegetables on a slope next to native vegetation. There is a beautiful perennial garden that is quite large, but with the right selection of plants is not overwhelming to maintain. And our quirkiest garden is found on the Eastside behind a fence made of recycled materials, as are many other features of this garden.”
Lori Daul’s Garden
Lori Daul is a garden designer from Wisconsin who loves being surrounded by nature. Even though she uses easy-care plants like cactus, agave and yucca, her garden still maintains creativity with a mixture of textures, colors and DIY hardscaping throughout.
Dugie and David Graham’s Garden
A Wildlife Certified Habitat, Dugie and David Graham’s garden is home to a raised bed vegetable garden and pond. The garden is fenced in to keep wildlife at bay.
Ken and Robin Howard Moore’s Garden
Robin Howard Moore grew up working in her family’s own nursery business. Being raised in the horticulture of Austin, she is always on the search for shade-tolerant perennials. Her charming and whimsical space has curved paths lined with garden art, a compost area and an experimental side garden. This space is also a Certified Wildlife Habitat.
Travis County AgrilLife Extension’s Demo Garden
“Every 18 months, members of the Travis County Master Gardeners Association arrange the Inside Austin Gardens Tour. The group is a volunteer arm of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service with an office here in Austin. The gardens on the tour are often owned by Master Gardeners but it is not a prerequisite to being considered for the tour. In past years, the tour would have one central theme, such as Edible Landscaping or Water-wise Gardening, and all the gardens were examples of that theme. This year, we decided to feature a different theme at each garden. Because of this, we were able to choose gardens that highlight various aspects of the challenges of gardening in Central Texas,” Buck says.
The Travis County Master Gardeners Association isn’t your average garden club. It’s a group of home gardeners with special training in horticulture whose goal is to not only create beautiful gardens, but to be an education service for horticulture in the community. The Austin Garden Tour takes place May 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets are $15. Individual garden passes can also be purchased at $5 per garden. The demo garden is free, as are children 16 and younger. More information is available at insideaustingardens.org.
Jerry Naiser’s Garden
Jerry Naiser addresses the water-conservation concerns of Austin gardeners with this North Central Austin garden. He uses a drip irrigation system with separate computer-controlled zones that pull from current weather data to adjust watering accordingly. He also has a water-channeling system that uses captured rainfall and runoff as a primary water source. He “has mastered rainwater collection and drip irrigation, and married the two in an amazing display of technology,” Wendy Buck says.