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I Am Really DIGGING This!!! or Why Austin is Where My Heart Is Part One

by germinatrix | June 26th, 2010


I have always loved pics of Pam's stock tank pond/mandala - but in person... SWOON!

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!)

Super cool Austin designer Jenny Peterson snaps away in the rain while my Aunt Nora plays photo assistant

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.

wonder woman Pam points out her new side garden to ESP and Leah, while I melt in the rain like a true denizen of LA

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!

Pam's side garden practically grabs you and demands that you walk the path and enjoy!

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!”

"hello, lovely pots - I have been stalking you online ... don't worry, I am completely harmless...

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.

is this moment fantastic or WHAT?

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!

what? another fabulous blue pot? JEALOUS!!!

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

13 Responses to “I Am Really DIGGING This!!! or Why Austin is Where My Heart Is Part One”

  1. Ivette, you know I had to scheme a way to get you to my garden that day, thunderstorm or not. Having the Germinatrix grace my new-baby garden with a visit just felt lucky, and I was not going to miss that chance! And of course while I had you, I had to show off Austin a little bit and Jeff’s incredible garden. And my thanks too to Philip and Leah for hosting us in true Patch fashion at the end of a busy day. And isn’t Jenny P. fun to hang out with?

    What a day it was. I am SO glad you came to Austin and let your fans here kidnap you for the day. Maybe next time you come we can sneak our way into Rock Rose’s garden, where more swooning is guaranteed.

  2. So jealous but glad that y’all are blogging about it so that the rest of us can be there with you (sort of)! Now come up to Portland someday!!!

  3. Perfectly captured! I’m still having recurring dreams about that day–great people, fantastic gardens, wonderful conversation and camaraderie! I’m waiting for the Austin Trip, Part Deux! Then we can squeeze on to my balcony for happy hour ; )

  4. Oo. We should make more gardeners tour other’s gardens in the rain. These are some FAB views of Pam’s garden, and the fresh set of eyes has revealed much more than she has put up.

    That deck is lovely.

    The droplets on the pond, perfect.

    I’m lovin’ it!

    Can’t wait to see the other gardens in the rain.

  5. What a great day for PHOTOGRAPHY though, I adore that stock tank/mandala; the addition of the brick ‘rays’ was absolutely brilliant! Thanks for the view of that day from your side; come visit my garden next, kay?

  6. Oh colour me jealous! What a stunning pond! I love the surrounding brick work! What creativity! What zest!

  7. You are a lucky woman. I am anxious to see the other Austin gardens from your perspective.

  8. Ivette: Looks like you had a lovely day with Jenny and Pam. Why don’t you get out to Idaho now… we have plenty of great gardens in the wild west too. ;) Teresa

  9. Pam darling your brilliant plan worked PERFECTLY – what a fantastic day! You are a so awesome for making this happen – what a lovely gift for me … and you are the total GENERAL of the Garden Gang! I see now how the “Spring Fling” got its start – YOU were one of the masterminds, and with your energy behind a thing – of COURSE it will happen! In awe… in awe…
    I’m coming back soon for MORE!

    Oh, Loree – I am DYING to go up to Portland, and might do it sometime in the near future! After hearing so much about this foodie wonderland, how could I NOT? And I want to visit the DANGER GARDEN in person!
    This could develop into an addictive pastime – visiting the amazing gardens of awesome blogfriends! Oh yea!

    Jenny! Your poor TOE! (Jenny recently hurt her pinkie toe – but is still chicly manicured!) Believe me, I am DYING to return. Sept, maybe? I’ve got to sneak away from my responsibilities for a few days, and since I made such to-die-for pals in Austin… well – we need more time! XOXOXO!!!

    Jenn, I am writing the post for Jeff Pavalat’s incredible succulent dream garden right now. I just wish my photo skills were BETTER! I have to say, being in Pam’s garden was so wonderful… seeing things I had seen before and loved, and then seeing new things that I’d never noticed! Lucky ME!!!

    LLS my dear! It WAS the best day for pictures – but my camera got all cranky and then there was me spazzing out at every turn because a raindrop landed on me or I suspected my hair was frizzing or I suddenly became conscious of my overall dorkiness. You know…
    And I am looking so forward to the day when we sit under the Red Umbrella together, chatting while the sun sets! It MUST happen soon – we aren’t THAT far away, afterall!

    Les I AM lucky! Check out my awesome new friends! My favorite city has the BEST people in it – and some super hot, amazingly cool gardens. I was in HEAVEN!

    Teresa! Oh man – it WAS a great day! Pam, Jenny, and I are trying to talk Philip (ESP – the other Austin Blogger in on the garden visits) into going on facebook – you should check out his blog – he is a superb gardener, marvelous storyteller, and a riot!
    Be careful when you ask me to visit – I keep one bag perpetually packed!

  10. Those rugs are super cute. Now I have hankering for more containers.

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