Friday, June 15, 2012

Warning: This Post Contains Graphic Images!

Meredith O'Reilly was kind enough to have a few of us Capital Area Master Naturalists over to her place yesterday for some delicious Mango Margaritas and snacky-poos!  We had a wonderful time talking about the upcoming year in CAMN and discussing  possible speakers.  While we were there, we got a tour of her beautiful property and garden.  She lives on a large, mature lot in North Austin with some blessed, shaded areas and lots of full sun in the back for vegetables!
 Chartreuse is my favorite color, so I had to snap a shot of her welcoming bench out front.
 Wise words from the flying pig that greeted us just near the front gate...seen below.
 This isn't available anywhere in town, no sir...this is one of her very own designs and was created by the fabulous and talented Bob Pool!
 The artwork is also functional...there's a wrens nest in the Sun...wouldn't it be nice to wake up inside the sun...cue the music..."I'm walking on Sunshine...yeah-eh!"  Yes, I know I've dated myself with that one.
 This is the side yard and I fell in love with her path.  These have become quite popular lately and it's one of those trends that I think is just such a wise use of materials, especially if you've had to have a tree removed...why lose all that free mulch or art material?
 Close-up...homemade path
 The side yard, looking toward the street.  Doesn't it look cool and inviting?
 This little pond is just outside the kitchen window which boasts a bird watching area and makes sitting inside delightful (well, especially with a giant Mango Margarita in your hand....ahhhh summertime!)
 Because of their 3 ponds, they are often visited by furry friends as well...but, you saw the sign...they're welcome...just no skunks please!
 The back patio
 It wasn't the best time of day for taking photos...lots of bright sun, but you get the idea...lovely walking paths lots of natives and fun art peeking out here and there!
 Meredith blogs at Great Stems and you can see how she and her family built this fabulous pond mostly out of recycled material and free-bees from Craig's List, very smart!
 I loved the glass balls in the water!  
 Another artwork by local talent!
 I was very impressed by the growing structure and several square foot gardening boxes which add height and dimension to the garden while keeping the area relatively clear...unlike my messy herb and food gardens!
 Meredith is also a Habitat Steward and there were watering and food stations all around her plot, pleasing to the eye, functional and textural.
 Another view of the backyard...which is quite large with old oaks, ash and lots of common and rare a Texas Madrone, my favorite native tree!
 Nice use of an old ta-kill-ya bottle!
 Mimosa!  Yes please!
 I love the artistic quality of the trellis and how it becomes a focal point from nearly any perspective!
 Do you have natives that are hard to grow in your yard?  I cannot for the life of me get beebalm
(what I call it but is also known as:  Monarda citriodora, lemon beebalm, Horsemint, Purple horsemint, Lemon mint, Plains Horsemint, Lemon Horsemint as it's in the Mint Family: Lamiaceae)
to grow in abundance...nor can I grow our state frustrating...especially when she tells me that these are "volunteers!"  Blasted!
 A sweet little path...lots of these idea starters around the yard...I can't wait to see this garden when she's been at it a decade or more!
 Hey Meredith!  Smile!
 No?  Do you recognize the seed pods?  
Eve's Necklace
 Two screech owl boxes grace the old trees at the edge and side of the backyard and she's had little ones two years in a row!  
 Caterpillar box to remove and save the little guys from the birds until they emerge, built by her loving spouse!
 Ever see seats like these?  If you find one in town, give her a holler...she's looking to buy another as this was from her grandmother's  home!
 This is just a charming collection in the corner before you enter the house!  Another beautiful Texas garden!
 Inside out of the heat, we were introduced to Morse and Walker, this is Morse...a Corn Snake.
 It was hard to get a good shot of the little guys, my camera wasn't cooperating but you can probably guess what's coming...the next several shots are of Walker, who is half Rat and half Corn Snake.
 hmmmm....what have we here?
 Oh yeah, it was that fast.....zap!
 So, my husband was born in the year of the, I'm a Snake...oh yes, the lady is a Snake!  Images like this make him uncomfortable...hehehe...hissssss!
 Just a little to go...
Sure enough, she was telling us how he looks pink, where you can see the rat...I wasn't seeing it at the time, but it shows up clearly here!
Meredith is on the board here at CAMN and I'm so looking forward to working with this talented gal!  We all had a wonderful time and hope to visit again soon!  Check out her blog!

Happy Gardening!


Wizzie Brown said...

The snake pictures are so COOL! It reminds me of when I used to feed my tarantula mice.

Lancashire rose said...

Thanks for the great visit to Meredith's garden. She certainly knows how to attract wildlife. Love the caterpillar box. I think we have lost 5 of our buckeye caterpillars which is really distressing. And I have to say though, I forgot about the warning at the start. Not my cup of tea!, that bit!

ConsciousGardener said...

Thanks Wizzie! Feel free to bring specimen to the meeting! That would be awesome!

So sorry Jenny! I tried to warn folks! I'm sorry about your buckeye's...they're one of my favorites!

Meredith said...

Cheryl, you have given me new perspective on my garden -- thank you for such a detailed photostory as seen through your eyes. I love having CAMN and gardening friends who love both snakes and margaritas!

JennaLynn said...


I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could email me?


jass smith said...

Nice blog I like your snake and another picture, But your garden look great. Austin Tree Service