Sunday, April 20, 2008
Inside Austin Tour: The Stocker Garden
The entrance to Jenny and David Stocker's house and garden
Wow! The Inside Austin Garden Tour was a phenomenal success. I'm still waiting on the final attendance totals, but I know that at Patty Leander's garden where I volunteered we had more than 600 visitors! I particularly enjoyed getting to chat with MSS of Zanthan Gardens for a while. Vicki of Playin' Outside was in charge of the volunteers there so we had a bit of a mini-Spring Fling reunion.
I think a few things contriubuted to the high turnout: the beautiful weather, the focus on sustainability, and Austinites' desire to become more even more "green" and to grow their own food. Maybe the recent alarming articles on rising food prices, especially for organics, also spurred on some folks to check out the tour.
And it helped that we weren't inadvertently scheduled on the same day as the Garden Conservancy Open Days tour like we were in the fall of October 2006. That year Patty had about 150 visitors.
I am posting pictures of the gardens in the order in which I visited them on the pre-tour. You can tell that I photographed the later gardens in a harsher sunlight, but I think you'll still get an idea of the spirit of the garden.
The Stockers' garden is a series of rooms, enclosed by deer-proofed fencing. The rose room is the first, well, maybe the second room as you walk around the back. You walk through a lovely space that looks like a hill country vignette to get to the rose room so maybe that's the first room?
The pool room is next. It's just a riot of spring wildflower color.
The official theme of the tour was sustainability, but many of us soon decided that the real theme was larkspurs and poppies. You'll see why. I later found out that many of the plants came from seeds shared among the different gardeners. If I remember to put out the poppy seeds Patty let me bring home, I'll join the poppy brigade next spring.
A view from the back meadow of the vegetable garden. The Stockers use a variety of materials for tomato cages. I loved the organic look of the wooden cages, but my new cages will be metal ones like these. Not the prettiest but the best chance I'll have at controlling the rambunctious yellow pear tomato.
The second vegetable area. The potting shed is one of the fanciest I've seen. It also contains a bathroom.
This spent tangerine crossvine was on a gate on the way out. Even the plants past their prime were beautiful at this garden.