Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Gardeners Put the Sass in Texas

No matter where I go, I bring my little box of expectations with me.  And on this latest trip to Dallas - my little box was stuffed to the brim - why my first reaction when I stepped out into the heat of a Dallas September was to think, "Why I'm a regular Elizabeth Taylor playing Leslie in 'Giant' and I'm about to pass right out - how exciting!"  Driving into town from the Love Field our driver pointed over to the Grassy Knoll and the Book Depository that's now a museum - another two down.  There were well dressed tall men in cowboy hats and suits (check), excellent barbecue (check), wonderful people with elegant manners (check)and a garden or two that only money could buy (double check).  What I didn't expect was in the land of conformity (another expectation....) there would be gardeners who would kick that expectation to the curb with their downright sassy, spunky and spirited gardens. 

Tucked away behind this very elegant Asian-style garden was the owners special (as they called it....) "White Trash" garden:

Not something I'm about to do, but heck if it gives the gardener pleasure? 

In a part of the world where growing many types of grass is a challenge, I've got to hand it to someone who installs stairs that are made of grass, and finds the perfect chairs to sit down to enjoy it all.

In Dallas, like so many other areas in North America, homes are razed and new monuments are built to celebrate the importance and wealth of their owners, so I was surprised to see that this old pump house had been preserved, restored and repurposed.  Look how the architect had used old bits of concrete in such a fabulous way.  And, as you can see - it looked good, both coming and going.

And right next door was an excellent example of modern architecture that fit beautifully into its landscape.  This is the street side:

the creek side:

There will be a prize to anyone who correctly identifies all the building styles used here.

From the sidewalk to the circular drive - so much good stuff to look at, you'd never even know there was a Bentley between the curb and the front door!  (and there was another one in the garage with a Rolls to keep it company in case it got lonely.)

Off topic, but just had to show this photo - my one regret is that we didn't get to spend more time here.  A private garden of 8 acres of complete serenity - we had 20 minutes......so lovely.

And finally, one more check in my box of expectations - a yellow rose!  And a beautiful English style garden which must be complete madness to maintain in the fiercely hot weather.

Now, the next three are all from the same garden - a garden that grew as the owner just kept playing Monopoly and adding to his domain.  Once again, there's that pull of conformity and then...

...placed around the garden were these little vignettes.  Every time I look at this photo - I spot another little something I'd missed before - I swear he's got a piece of my old bathroom floor - it's exactly the size and shape of the one we were missing in our first house.

 Now, for all the folks who want to do modern but don't have the cash - the pattern on this creation was created with the manly version of a glue gun - duct tape.  I can hear those wheels spinning now! 

While I may not want to step as far out of the box as these marvelous Texans in my garden - it certainly makes me think I should be pushing my gardening boundaries a bit further.  I'm going to have to sit down over the winter and let my imagination run completely wild.


Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

I love the contemporary gardens in this post. My favorite garden pictures are the plank bridge and the grass steps.

Barbarapc said...

It was an excellent garden - would have loved to see the inside of the house on the creek side - looks like the design was made to enjoy and enhance the view to the garden - simply beautiful.

Gail said...

Barbara, Your writing always delights and this post doesn't fail! The modern gardens are especially attractive. Nashville, like Dallas, is very conventional; so 'different' catches my eye. Not sure what to think about the 'white trash garden', but it makes me want to rush outside and clean up my messes! gail

mysisterdalesgarden said...

What a wonderful use of natural plants to decorate the gardens.

Veronica Sliva said...

Fabulous photos Barbara. Considering that I know there were dozens of people all over the place and it is noteasy to get a people-free garden photo at these events. Veronica

Carol said...

Delightful post Barbara! Wow! some of these gardens . . . especially the water elements are so lovely. The white trash collection make me smile. :>)

Anonymous said...

The sass in Texas, how funny and clever. I love those little breeches in conformity you illustrate so well. This is great inspiration for all of us. My wheels are turning.