Austin Fling 2018: Repeated Elements

 Dichondra argentea--or Silver Ponyfoot, as they call it--was a star of several Fling gardens

 Even roadside weeds looked fresh and lovely after the first lavishly rainy day.
If one were to imagine all the Fling gardens--and the landscapes we saw from the bus as we traveled--as one garden, what were some of the significant repeated elements?   What told us we were in Austin, Texas, in early May? 

Masses of Hesperaloe!







 Rain water storage tanks
 Texas sized, and all filled.




Beautiful local limestone used in all sorts of ways



The Agave of choice was ovatifolia
 Here with Dichondra argentea:
Sometimes with Hesperaloe.
 Or beautiful local stone.

 Texas sized

Gallardia and Ratibida, native wildflowers

 This Hutto farmhouse style garden had multiple decorative HippopotamiHutto is the only community in the United States to use the hippo as its mascot.





Lady Bird Johnson, who did much to promote wildflowers along American highways and in gardens, would be smiling to see so many.
 Another repeated element was lots and lots of Larkspur--in the same way that Monarda was a memorable element of the Portland fling, only more--a Texas-sized portion.  There are a number of species both native to the US and not;  which ones were everywhere we saw, I'm not sure. 

The purple and white Larkspur made a fine complement to the oranges and yellows of Gallardia and Ratibida. 






 With Gallardia and Hesperaloe.
 
Live Oak canopies creating cool shade







 They were reminiscent in some ways of our California native live oaks, except in Austin the oaks were growing happily in vast green lawns--the vast green lawns themselves were eye popping sights to a Californian coming from drought.  Our oaks belong in a carpet of their own fallen leaves and nothing else. 
 There were so many beautiful beautiful oaks--perhaps my favorite element.  Nature's cathedral ceilings, and a refuge from intense Texas heat. 
Yucca rostrata, many in glorious bloom





When I see these things, I'll think of Austin in early May. A sense of place, of where you are in the world, is a fine thing in a garden. 

Comments

  1. Jeez ... this is way past being excellent, above being superb, what an idea. Now will you please do this for coastal southern California, for inland California. I'll give you a start: arroyo stone for the Pasadena area.

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    1. Glad you liked the post, thank you!

      Hmmm....it would mean a lot of traveling...

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  2. The essence of Austin gardens in May. Love it and agree with Jane that this would make an interesting series featuring various areas of the country/world.

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  3. You nailed it! I must have Larkspur blindness though as I missed noticing them.

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    1. Maybe distracted by the all the fabulous Yucca rostratas?

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  4. Hoov, this post is my favorite so far about Austin Fling. It almost brought tears to my eyes, so well did you capture the essence of the place I call home.

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    1. So kind of you to say that, Pam. Happy you liked the post.

      Think of it as another "thank you!" for a great Fling. :^)

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  5. I love this post. What a great way to emphasize the elements that connected so many of the sights we saw.

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    1. I went through my 2,467 photos and these were the patterns that emerged. Glad you liked the post!

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  6. Great post, HB! I don't expect the bloggers from wetter climates were nearly as obsessed with the rain tanks as we were. I didn't capture many photos of the Hesperaloes but they were EVERYWHERE, weren't they? Their prevalence had me wondering where I could put some more in my own garden (like maybe the coral hybrid David Salman spoke of). As to the ponyfoot, I've tried using it as as groundcover in my own garden and it never looks anywhere as near as good as it does in Texas, drat it.

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    1. Thanks Kris! High Country is selling that tall coral Hesperaloe, you know. ;^) I have the silver Dichondra in morning sun/afternoon shade and it does very well. Maybe a little too well. Perhaps the high summer humidity in Austin helps it stay happy.

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  7. I like your take on common elements / May / Austin. You really captured that well! The rock farmhouse with the pruned vine clinging to it, with the gnarly oak to the right, tells me where I am or at least was. Thanks for such an exhaustive post, a several part course.

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  8. So glad you included the Hutto Hippo!

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    1. Well, not THE Hutto Hippo, just A Hutto Hippo. But a really cute one! His or her eyes were so expressive.

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    2. Yeah, there are hundreds. Via a Twitter friend who lives there, I've seen the closest thing to *the* Hutto Hippo: Henrietta, a massive bronze statue in front of the high school. Not nearly as friendly as most of the Fowlers', but still endearing. When I went looking for images of Henrietta, this one made me LOL because of the photobombing hesperaloe bloom: http://www.andrewbutlerphotos.com/p1060025878/h63706475#h63706475

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  9. I would buy one of those water tanks in a heartbeat if I could find one. Love this post Hoov. It really displays so many of the elements we all observed. I was going to title a post"Does every Gardener in Texas Grow Larkspur?" but I didn't have enough photos to support it. I'm glad you put it out there-it was certainly not something I expected to see !

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    1. Me too coveted those tanks. And they were all full to the brim with that Friday torrential rainfall. Sigh.

      Had many more Larkspur, Oak, etc., photos--but the post was long enough as it was!

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  10. What a great way to capture the spirit of Austin! I wonder how we can get the big metal cisterns to catch on in CA? So many of them added great presences in the Fling gardens.

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    1. Not only a great presence, but a practical benefit.

      Someone in my neighborhood has a couple of them that fill from their roof gutters; I think the cost/benefit analysis is far better in Austin with 33" average rainfall/year, almost 3x here. For us it is still far cheaper to buy water than buy a tank.
      See:

      https://www.ntotank.com/rainwater-collection-tanks (for example)

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  11. Ahhh, such fond memories, beautiful too.

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    1. It was beautiful, yes! The oaks, especially.

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