Austinites open their 4 unique home gardens for one day of public tours
Even as the weather gets colder, Austin's extended growing season means its gardens still flourish well into fall. There's a few more chances to get some in-person inspiration before next year's planting.
Garden lovers and overall curious cats will have a chance to visit Austin’s finest gardens through a national nonprofit, the Garden Conservancy. It's giving Austinites a closer look at their hometown gardens through the Open Days program, which makes opens selected gardens — hand picked by regional ambassador Casey Boyter of Casey Boyter Gardens — up for self-guided tours on Saturday, November 4th.
The Garden Conservancy is dedicated to preserving and sharing American gardens, through a nationwide network of community gardeners and enthusiasts. The large group hopes to inspire and educate the public about the world of horticulture regardless of gardening experience. This is the first time the program is back in Texas since 2019.
Open Days will feature four Austin sites:
The Tortuga Gardengardenconservancy.org
The Tortuga Garden, designed by ADLA Studio, is located on the banks of Lake Austin and showcases a landscape that fits in with the contemporary design of the property, featuring a minimalist look with Cypress trees and lots of straight geometric patterns. An animal courtyard even creates a dedicated space for the family pets.
Folded Slope features a beautiful and spacious backyard space with plants naturally growing along or falling over the fence to create privacy and tranquility for the family. The garden also uses plants native to Edwards Plateau and others adapted to limestone to maintain a healthy and lush lawn, while attracting pollinators and local wildlife.
Colleen Belk's Gardengardenconservancy.org
Colleen Belk’s Gardenhas been in action for 43 years and is in constant flux as the seasons and Belk's whims change. A collector and propagator, Belk is showing off her own plant picks as well as what's been gifted to her over the years. Even the rocks are thoughtfully piled up in their own rock garden.
Bee Cave Gardenserves both as a home and an office for professional landscape architect Tait Moring, resulting in an impressive green space. Beautiful stonework helps divide the property into different terraces for an even more intimate feel. Some may recognize this garden from its previous feature on the Central Texas Gardener TV show.
As visitors peruse the gardens, they may learn about the best practices and techniques for creating similar spaces at their own homes. For those wanting more, and there's some interesting information on the conservancy's website that doesn't require going anywhere, including virtual programs and several high-quality films with interviews.
The Austin installment of Open Days takes place from 10 am to 4 pm on November 4. Register ($10 per adult, per garden, plus member discounts) to visit each garden at their above links, or browse at gardenconservancy.org. Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by a parent or guardian.