October 6, 2010 by Robin Plaskoff Horton
I saw the writing on the wall…boy was it hot in Dallas!
Along with nearly 500 others, I weathered the scorching Dallas heat and humidity while visiting some cool gardens during this year’s Garden Writers Annual Symposium.
Before I digress, let me slip in some shameless self-promotion: Urban Gardens received the Garden Writers silver award for best electronic media design, and the coveted gold for best design across all categories. I’ll admit, it was wonderful to receive the validation but I was especially honored to be among recipients such as Garden Design Magazine; Irvin Etienne for the Indianapolis Museum of Art Blog; Timber Press for it’s book, The American Meadow Garden; Mariana Greene for A Bit of the U.K. in Bloom, published by The Dallas Morning News, and others. Check out the complete list of award winners.
Parthenocissus: looked like grapes to me…sort of
On the garden tours, I really learned a lot from all the great horticulture minds I got a chance to mingle with. For example, had I not been set straight by some of the more knowledgeable in attendance, I would have looked foolish telling you about the strange grapes–that didn’t quite look like grapes–that I saw at the Pump House (above.) In fact, they are Parthenocissus, a genus of climbing plants that happen to be from the grape family Vitaceae, but no relation to Narcissus, the plant, or the Greek god who fell in love with himself.
A garden room at one Highland Park estate
Some of the large estates we visited in the upscale Highland Park neighborhood had a number of outdoor garden rooms, each of a different theme and design. One Italian Renaissance-style home–that also happened to have a landscaped garage housing a Rolls Royce and a Bentley–had a more Balinese-themed seating area on one end, and another that was more an eclectic mix of I’m not sure what, with a stone bench:
In another garden, there were areas of whimsy that I appreciated even if I might not choose the same furniture or accessories for my own garden.
Faux Wood seating: we saw a few different gardens employing variations of this theme
Some of the garden rooms that invited conversation, a cup of tea, whatever:
A mosaic table and mosaic of pillows…
More of the far east in the southwest…
I was drawn to this sweet red setting
An intimate conversation spot
Please keep off the grass…
GST…Garden Standard Time