The bluebonnets are deserving of the fanfare they receive, but the more subtle beauty of the columbines appeals more to some. It is believed that the Hinkley columbine, Aquilegia chrysantha, with its large yellow flower had cross pollinated with the smaller yellow and red A. canadensis to produce this large flowered, long spurred, pink and yellow tinted beauty.
There was a tower with a spiral stairway that was climbed to get a 360 view of the surrounding countryside. The stairs were entered from a walled courtyard that was planted with this red berried tree, possibly the Possum Haw. It was a sunny day and the blue of the sky, the tans of the Texas limestone in use throughout the center and the play of shadow and light made this an arresting sight as we followed the curving tunnel to get to the stairway.
There will be photos of the bloggers at their best presented in other’s posts about this event. To beat anyone to the punch with some embarrassing shot of the Faire Gardener, none will be more silly than this one. This rusty metal cage at the entrance to the gardens cried out for someone to get in and break out.
Back into the car and onward to the Natural Gardener Nursery after a delicious fajita lunch and thought provoking talk from Tom Spencer, it was time for a little shopping. How it was wished we were traveling by car rather than by air, for these ceramic glazed pots were greatly coveted. The financier was happy that only a couple of small plants, and a special weeding tool, which will be written about later, were purchased there.
More sightseeing along the way as we traveled to the private garden of James David and Gary Peese. Pam wrote a post about a tour of this garden in October of 2006,here .
This is a magnificent home and garden. There were nooks and crannies filled with art and whimsy, not to mention prize plant specimens and well designed plantings on steep hills and level woodlands. This charming stone face caught the eye of the camera, backed by water filled basins on the steps to the front door of the house, which we were allowed to go through to get to the back gardens. The artistic talents of the owners was as impressive inside as it was out.
In the back was a shed that offered a see through view from the veranda with the clipped boxwoods adding a contrasting formality to the metal structure.
Looking from the other side of the shed towards the house, the view is equally inspiring.
In addition to the sound of several water features was the charming crowing of roosters in the chicken house. On one side were the pure breed silkies. The rooster, above was a wee bit leary of being photographed and flung himself against the wire fencing to get his message across.