About Me
My Photo
Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
View my complete profile

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Ponds at night and a Leander RR

Over the hot, hot weekend we saw 25 of the 28 ponds on the Austin Pond Society Tour – if you drove fast and were efficient you might make them all, but for those of us who get into conversations, two days is too short! We took just a few photos - you’ll have to wait for more from the Austin Pond Society website.

Two of the locations were in Westlake, open on Saturday evening. Both featured impressive, beautiful ponds, streams and gardens, softly lit with lanterns. One even had violins sending classical music over the terraces. Many people loved the romantic ambience of the ponds at night, but it didn’t quite work for me. Climbing stone steps and feeling with one’s foot for an unknown path was rather awkward in the dark. For a plant person, it was very frustrating to see vague shapes and shadows of the leaves, and to not see the colors or flowers. But you did get an idea of how cool the parties must be at those homes!

These photos were taken in Leander, northwest of Austin, where the pond owner told me that a base for a miniature railroad track had come with the house, buried under the soil in a hilled-up area. Previous owners started it but never got very far. When the new owners recently built their pond, they decided to use the base and work the railroad into the design. This imaginative garden is still in progress – a viewing platform was built just the day before the tour folk arrived- soon the owners will use bonsai trees to complete the landscape and give a sense of proportion to the layout.

For the plant person there were huge stands of Pride of Barbados in the garden area, and the ponds were lovely, with waterlilies in bloom. In addition to the cute factor, there’s a historical factor: this miniature train is a replica of the one that once carried marble to Austin, to build the State Capitol.


  1. That miniature train around the garden is wonderful! I love the rock and the pond built up to look like a mountain and lake, probably moreso because the mountain could look like a rock grotto when the train isn't obvious on the tracks.

    Do you get lots of ideas from these tours (when you see things in the daylight, I mean) or does it just turn into sensory overload when you're trying to cram 25-28 gardens into 2 days?

  2. I was hoping for a summary of the tour, and pictures. Thanks, Annie. What a lot of ponds you viewed! I considered going on Sunday after I read your post, but the heat dissuaded me.

  3. I was interested in going, too, but I couldn't convince my husband to do anything that might involve walking. Hmpf.

  4. Blackswamp girl, the ponds were all quite different, but it is hard to remember just where we saw which thing. If we were ready to build a water feature this year, I would have taken careful notes & more photos, but we went for fun. It's easy to get ideas, and even easier to come home with a bad case of both plant lust & pond lust!

    My husband enjoyed analyzing the way that the wonderful arbors, pergolas, trellises, fences and gates were built - he saw some very good ideas that would fit into our garden.

    Pam, the gardens closer to you were all on Saturday - the Tarrytown pond was very cool, but I didn't take photos on Saturday. The owners opted for fence panels alternating with clumps of shrubs. It screens the stream while still maintaining a relationship to the community. It was very impressive!

    I'm sorry you missed it, R... with luck you'll be there next year. Just point out that Philo & I are old enough to be your parents and if we could do it, your husband could!

  5. Awwww. I love the pond tour, but hate that it's during the hottest time of the year. I just can't do it!

  6. Annie, I bet! I'm getting a serious case of pond lust just looking at the photos!

    Must... remember... I have no room for a pond on my tiny urban lot... :)


A comment from you is like chocolate - maybe I could live without it, but life is more fun with it. I'll try to answer. If someone else's comment piques your interest, please feel free to talk among yourselves.