Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Garden Conservancy's Open Days - Dallas Part 2

Earlier this week, I posted pictures from two of the gardens on the Garden Conservancy's Open Days Tour in Dallas. Click here to see that post. Below are highlights from the three remaining gardens. (Odd formatting courtesy of Blogger and my impatience.)

Blue Lotus Gardens in east Dallas is the next stop on the tour. 

The front yard of this garden features large specimen agave, yucca, cacti and various other xeric plants.

A large raised berm is the perfect location for these plants.

I like this water feature in the back yard. The red wall around this bed is decorative...

but it also keeps the resident turtle from straying from its home.

Off to the side of the garden, a corrugated metal mural adds color to the garden and helps screen a large rainwater storage tank.

This bamboo roofed cabana looks like a nice place to relax and enjoy the garden.

Behind the cabana is a vegetable garden and a herb bed, complete with a trunk and night stands. 

I walked by the night stands twice before I realized that they were bee hives, complete with bees!

These fountains and birdbath were repurposed as succulent planters. 

The reason I did not notice the bee hives is because I kept studying the metal fence. I keep bouncing around ideas for privacy fencing around my back yard. I want something that will last longer than wood and metal is under consideration.

A long lotus pool runs along the side of the garage.

This stainless steel bowl is home to goldfish and a tropical waterlily. I bet the water gets warm in the summer sun.

The next stop is the Herndon Garden in north Dallas. Water features and large stepping stones dominate this garden.

The stepping stones leading to the front door are made of concrete with a stamped pattern on top to give a flagstone look.

More of the concrete stepping stones are in the back yard. A pond is in the center of the picture. The steps to the right lead to a sitting area with a fireplace. 

This is a stream that leads to the pond.

Large koi and a red eared turtle call the pond home.

This sturdy looking gate opens to a secluded garden on the side of the house.

This garden features another stream. The sound of falling water fills the space.

This looks like a peaceful place to relax.

The Rister-Armstrong Garden in the Knox-Henderson area was the last stop on the tour. This is another garden that is too formal for my tastes, but the overall layout and integration of architecture, hardscaping and landscaping is amazing.

This is the stonework at entrance to the to the garden. This view is from inside the courtyard area looking out.
The homeowners purchased the property next door to their home and built a garden pavilion and what they refer to as a carriage house, aka, garage. The pavilion is to the left in this photo and the carriage house is straight ahead. The main house is to the right.

One of the many water features in the garden. The main house is in the rear.

This is the sunken lawn in the back yard.

Looking toward the garden pavilion. Inside, the pavilion is set for dining. I walked inside suddenly felt like a bull in a china shop. In the back of my head I could hear my mother saying "Don't touch!" 

Thanks to all for opening your gardens to the public and allowing us the opportunity to borrow your ideas and incorporate them into our own gardens. For another (and more observant) perspective on these gardens, go to Pam Penick's blog, Digging. She is drove up from Austin to tour the gardens with her daughter and is posting a garden a day this week.

The Water-Wise Landscape Tour is coming up Saturday, June 6. This is a free garden tour that features water conserving private landscapes across Dallas, Plano and Coppell, as well as public demonstration gardens and talks. There are almost 30 gardens on this tour, including the Blue Lotus Garden seen above. Click the link above for additional information and garden photos.


  1. Wow! It's always kinda amazing to see these gardens...people with lots of $$$ can certainly go all-out, can't they! I actually saw a fountain like that one with the tubes (surrounded by the red wall) at a nursery this weekend and was totally smitten...but the price will keep me at bay for a while! We had actually considered the corrugated metal fence idea for a while, but were worried it would feel rather like sitting in and Easy Bake Oven ;-) Do you know what the purplish groundcover in the last photo of the first house was? It sorta looks like a sedum...but seems too shady a spot for sedum...just wondering!

  2. Hey Scott. Garden tours are fun, but I kind of prefer the gardens that are more about the plants than the hardscaping. If you put in all those large patios, fireplaces, etc., you use up all of your space for new plants!
    Thanks for the comment about the fence. The Easy Bake Oven scenario is definitely worth considering here in Texas.
    On the plant ID, are you referring to the purplish plant in the picture with the yarrow and purple coneflower? It looks like a purple sage, Salvia officinalis “Purpurascens”. It was planted in a sunny spot by the street. There is a Sedum in front. Maybe Sedum spectabile.


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