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.


  1. Such a beautiful garden. I feel fortunate that I had the chance to visit it when I was in Austin. Thanks for the pictures, it brings to mind good memories of just a few weeks ago.

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  2. I really enjoyed talking with you at Patty's great vegetable garden. I spent so much time with you and Vicki, I didn't end up taking any photos there.

    It's taken me all day to process what I saw yesterday. I'm feeling a bit ashamed that I've accomplished so little in more time compared with many of the gardeners on this great tour.

  3. Jenny's garden is truly beautiful, but what really impresses me about it is that she and her husband did all of it themselves except the stucco walls, if I recall correctly.

  4. This garden is, hands-down, one of the most gorgeous gardens I've ever seen. And in terms of what I'd want in my own backyard, this is exactly it.

    And I just read Pam's comment about the Stockers doing almost all of the work themselves-- WOW. I'd love to know what kind of time frame it took for them to accomplish such a vast amount of hardscaping!

  5. I may never get outside to my garden this morning. I was checking Pam's site and she led me on to this blog and that blog! I am fascinated to see the photos you all took of my garden because even though I promised myself that I would take pictures this time I have just a few of Skip's talk. Where was I when David was doing his talk on drip irrigation? Fortunately we had the chance to view all the other wonderful gardens on Friday and loved every minute. I great theme chosen by the Master Gardeners. Thank you bloggers for posting the photos of the tour. To answer the question-7 years.

  6. How exciting! Jenny is actually reading and commenting. Thanks for letting us all come by and admire you garden. I've actually been pricing cement mixers since I found out that you made your own pavers.

  7. It's a sure bet that many Austin husbands were informed about the fabulous stones made by Jenny and David themselves ;-]

    What a nice photo-essay, Vertie!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  8. Wow - I'd volunteer in that garden any day.