Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Speaking of Garden Tours...

On May 18, I attended the 13th annual White Rock East Garden Tour & Artisans. This tour showcases gardens and work of artisans in the Forest Hills, Little Forest Hills, and Casa Linda Estates neighborhoods in East Dallas near White Rock Lake and the Dallas Arboretum. The nine gardens (three in each neighborhood) are within a few blocks of each other so it is easy to make several stops without putting many miles on the car. 

Starting the tour in Forest Hills, a dinosaur in front of to the Comini Garden on Whittier Ave seems a little upset that visitors have disturbed her gardening. So be it. This garden was certainly the most popular and interesting on the tour, even though plants were not the focus of the garden.

Stock tanks and water features were everywhere in this garden. There were so many stock tanks, you would think you were in Austin. This was the first time I have seen stacked stock tanks. Water pours out of the wall through an air conditioning duct boot and into a small stock tank set upon a larger stock tank. Water from the smaller, slightly tilted stock tank overflows into the larger tank.

A boardwalk guides visitors around the front yard.

While an anole takes it all in stride.

Another stock tank in the front yard. This one has water flowing through an old-style hand pump.

The boardwalk widens to make room for a small seating area with a fire pit.

 The boardwalk guides visitors around to the backyard and alongside an in ground pond.

A little further into the backyard is a partially submerged stock tank which is somewhat disguised by corrugated metal and flagstones. Another piece of corrugated metal is used to create a waterfall effect.

Here is the water feature from  a different angle. In the background is the covered patio for a small structure called the Lake House.

The Lake House is complete with a bed, rocking chair and assorted fishing gear. Old bed springs on the wall are used to display fishing lures. Someone may have suffered some misery here. I did not notice the hand coming out from under the bed until I was reviewing pictures at home.

A second structure in the backyard is called the Camp House. The Camp House has a camping and hunting theme.

If you have a Lake House and a Camp House, you also need an Outhouse and this is the name of the third structure in the backyard. The Outhouse has a working toilet, sink, and shower.

As I was getting ready to leave the garden, I passed by this stock tank combo with a large metal elk standing nearby and two decoy ducks in the upper tank. There were several other water features at this garden that I did not photograph, including additional stock tanks and a swimming pool. The homeowner allowed visitors to step into sections of her home for a look around. It reminded me of a cowboy museum of sorts.

The next stop was the Blanchard Garden on San Fernando Way. Yuccas, agaves, palms, and a few other shrubs grew in the beds near the entrance. Around in the backyard was a swimming pool and lots of lawn. What interested me most in this photo was the metal roof.

Even more interesting to me was the fence. It was made with horizontal planks attached to PostMaster fence posts. I would certainly consider a fence like this if I had not put in a new fence a couple of years ago.

This is a view of the fence from the inside. 

On to the Little Forest Hills neighborhood. This is the Kimberlin Garden on Santa Clara. A cedar post arbor spans the width of the sidewalk near the street. 

In the backyard, another cedar arbor divides the backyard into two distinct areas. A rose garden is on the house side. Sorry, no photos. Too many people.

On the back side of the arbor is a sitting area with a fire pit.

On the way to the next garden on Groveland, I walked by this garden. It was on the tour last year and you can read Shirley's account of the garden at Rock-Oak-Deer. This house is currently on the market for $450,000. It is an interesting house and garden, but a bit pricey for a 1,550 square foot house. Open house this weekend.

The house next door has a large gravel driveway around the house with a few plantings near the house and street. It is a little stark, but definitely low maintenance. Shirley had a picture of this landscape in her post as well. I have no photos to share of the garden on Groveland that was actually on the tour.

The last stop is in the Casa Linda Estates. The Mason Garden on San Saba is on a large, sloping creek lot. I thought these flagstone steps leading toward the creek were nice.

Here is a shot showing visitors crossing the creek.

After leaving the Mason Garden, I walked next door because this garden caught my eye while driving down the street and I wanted a better look. It is a long way from the street to the house. Visitors must walk down these steps.

And then they cross a bridge before climbing stone steps to get to the house. The garden has several rock terraces to help level out the grade. For a moment, I considered how I would landscape this property if it was mine.

And those are the highlights of the 2014 tour from my perspective. 


  1. I love it when people incorporate a woodland feel into their landscaping. Eventually I would love to create that feeling with my yard, getting the whole yard to feel as if it is part of the 'garden'. Nice tour!

    1. I agree. I like the look of a garden when it looks like the house was plopped into the middle of a natural setting.

  2. This tour always has very personal gardens that are not about the plants so much as other stuff. I did enjoy it last year and appreciate your linking to my post. Thanks for the overview since we didn't make it up there yet this year.

    1. I was a little surprised that I remembered seeing one of the houses on your tour post from last year, but then, not everybody in Dallas has several stock tanks in their front yard.

  3. Hello, nice article and pics. This is probably a long shot, but do you remember what size and type boards were used on that postmaster fence?

    1. Long shot is right! I am not sure I could have told you that day, much less 7 years later! My guess is that the boards were standard cedar fence planks, 6 inches wide and 3/4 inch thick. I could be wrong though.

    2. Thanks for the reply. I'll do some more homework. I really want that fence! The biggest bummer is that those posts are only sold to contractors.


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