by germinatrix | June 26th, 2010
When Texans tell you you are in for something special, HANG ON TIGHT!!!
My dear friend Pam Pennick, who writes the incredible blog Digging, found out that I was going to be in Austin recently, and before I could BLINK she rounded up a fantastic group of my favorite people and put together a day of out of HAND garden visits!
The night before the visits, I awoke at 2am to the most enormous clap of thunder I have ever heard, and stayed up for two hours with my brother Carlos and my Aunt Nora watching the glorious drama of a Hill Country Thunderstorm. I was certain that the garden visits were off, but don’t EVER tell a gardener from Texas that the weather isn’t right! Pam’s cowgirl spirit won out, and we started the day with a tour of her lovely garden … in the rain! (These people obviously don’t understand what rain does to my hair, but humidity be DAMNED! Awesome people with glorious gardens were on the agenda!)
Also in attendance were the fabulous Jenny Peterson, who I met at the San Francisco Garden Show in March, and the man who makes me laugh like no other – Phillip (aka ESP) of East Side Patch. With him was his awesome wife Leah – and I swear we must have known each other in another life because she felt like a BFF right away.
Notice how all of the umbrellas were color co-ordinated!
Those of us who love Pam’s blog have followed her adventures in gardening her new home. I have to say, it is looking smashing! And it was such a treat to see her garden in person – like meeting an old friend. Of course all of us were chatting like long lost relatives within minutes, even though I had to admit to ESP that I was very starstruck, and I’m sure I was giggling WAY too much!
Being in a garden that you have enjoyed from afar is a surreal experience. I knew what was coming around the corner, but still managed to be surprised and delighted! And being with garden enthusuasts like THESE people takes everything up several notches – my mouth was a constant, wide open smile as I moved from one thing to another – “There’s the bottle tree! Look at the AGAVE! Oh the BLUE POTS are gorgeous!”
Pam’s love of color is visible at every turn – color informs all of her choices. She doesn’t miss an opportunity to kick it up a notch with an eye-catching vignette.
Look at how beautifully thought out this seating area is – the durable woven plastic rugs seem to have established the palette for the rest of the furnishings. The lavender of the adirondack chairs and the soft turquoise of the table are both present in the details of the floor mat, but its maroon background pins it down and keeps it the ensemble modern. LOVE!
I SHOULD have gotten more useable photos, but like I have said before, when it rains, we from Los Angeles completely spaz out – so every time a drop would fall on my hand I would jerk and get a bunch of blurr for my tentative efforts. But believe me, this is a very special place – Pam is creating a wonderland with the soul of her old garden, but with choices appropriate to her new site conditions. What a treat to watch and learn, and what an EXTRA special treat to be invited to meet the woman and the garden in person! Am I a LUCKY Germinatrix or WHAT? The biggest thanks to Pam, Jeff Pavalat, and Philip and Leah for being the most incredible hosts!
And Pam – a better cruise director will never be found. You dominate. Thank you for arranging a day I will ALWAYS remember!
I have two more sublime Austin gardens to go mad over – Jeff ‘s succulent wonderland (and I mean it – no hyperbole here!) and Philip and Leah’s magical Patch (where I got to meet the lovely Hobbits and many of the characters that make that garden their home!)
Stay tuned … and it won’t be so long this time! PROMISE!
XOXOXO Your Germinatrix