Monday, April 28, 2008

Inside Austin Tour: Bannockburn Church

Bannockburn Church was the only public space on the Inside Austin tour so if you missed it, you can still stop by. It's a huge space, nine acres in all. In fact, I wandered around for about 20 minutes taking pictures and admiring the roses before I ever found the other half of the property, including the iris garden.

I felt like I was back at the Antique Rose Emporium, both in the abundance of roses and the lack of signage on the roses growing in the space. (The signs might have been there on the day of the actual tour but not on the pre-tour .) So, alas, I can't provide names for most of these beautiful roses, but you can still enjoy them.

These roses look a little spent, but you might be too if you were growing on the side of a busy road. I walked around the front of the church to get this picture. I also got a few honks, but nothing is too much for the right photo.

The garden is really the brainchild of Jack Campbell, a retired farmer, who started working on the grounds with his men's Bible study group.

The story I love about this garden is the Angel Neighbor. One day Jack was working in the garden, and a woman stopped and gave him a check for $1,000 for the garden's care. She lived down the street, enjoyed seeing the garden every day, and wanted to help. As she wanted, she has remained anonymous.

The space has also been certified as a National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat.

I do recognize these Belinda Dream roses.

I think this is a bald cypress. This area is just one of the many outdoor rooms on the church grounds.

I finally stumbled upon the iris test garden, which was a site for the International Iris Show. Some of the irises didn't even have official names yet, because they were still being tested.

I wish I had gotten this shot from a different angle, without the port-a-potties, but I was running late after getting lost in the roses.

This iris is named Seven Thunders.

I missed the name of this one.

This bearded iris is Passion and Purity.

I don't know how the irises look now but if you are in the area, I would recommend checking it out from time to time. With so many plants, I am sure something will be blooming there.


  1. Thanks for the tour. I've heard a lot about the gardens at this church over the years, but I've not yet made a visit.

    Speaking of church gardens, have you seen the bermed, native-plant garden at (I think) the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Brentwood? I saw it a few years ago, and it was lovely and inspired a school garden I helped with. I wonder if it's still in good shape.

  2. No, I haven't been there yet but coincidentally I just found out that I will be meeting there as the NWF Habitat Stewards training I'm taking next month. I'll be sure to take some pictures.

  3. Wonderful post! I dropped by this garden several weeks ago for the first time but didn't manage to meet Jack Campbell. Loved the "Angel" story you convey here.
    The place is HUGE. Keeping up with it surely requires the energies of farmer; Jack's being modest to call himself "retired."