Celina Garden Tour…

I am working at one of the venues for the Celina Garden Tour on Saturday so am not able to participate in and tour some of the gems along the backroads of the Celina countryside…

I’ll be busy showing the paying public around Caudalie Crest Winery and Farm instead.

Happily this morning though I was able to go on a preview.  With only a three hour window of opportunity, 9-12 noon, I knew I couldn’t hit all eight of the best kept secret spots, but I had a short list of Must Sees.

By the time Hubs and I had taken our walk, journaled and read our devotional, spoken to a couple of family members, showered and dressed we had lost an hour so my list had to be modified.

This was no simple neighborhood jaunt, the gardens were several miles apart, so private gardens, that would not be available to drop-in on at other times of the year, were a priority.

Our first stop was Golden Farms which was literally 3 miles from our front door and in rural jargon,  just around the corner.  

What an oasis in the middle of the Texas pastureland,


there were stone pathways, wrought ironwork, and a rock pool that gave this place a distinct European feel,


we followed the natural stone through the vegetable gardens embedded in straw,


visited the chicken coop that looked as delightful as my son’s tiny house,


heeded Jennifer’s warning not to let the pups out when we entered the chicken enclosure…

they ran out to greet us anyway, as soon as we clicked the gate shut, tripping over their big feet in their excitement,


and laughed at the outdoor shower,


that looked like it had stepped right off the set of La Cage aux Folles.

“That water is so cold…” Jennifer said, “just what you need on a hot summer’s day!”

She also told us that one of her dairy herd was expecting, she pointed to one of the group grazing under a clump of trees,

“That cow is so friendly,” she said, “she’d rather be in my pocket than out in the field with the others.”

“I was wondering if there was anywhere local where I could buy fresh milk,” I commented and learned that Jennifer was going to be giving milking rights to three people.

“1 1/2 gallons of milk every three days to do whatever they want with.”

That’s a lot!

My bird keeper son told me all the things I could do with fresh milk,

“I don’t have time to make cheese and butter,” I said.

He laughed, “not even clotted cream?”

Now there’s a thought!

We took one last look around and Jennifer handed me two large, purple tomatoes.  I also took a couple of ideas that involved a rock pool and an outdoor shower.

Our next stop was a garden tucked away in the middle of vast tracts of farmland along a dirt road very similar to Rigsby Lane where we live.

The owner of Shades of Green has allowed the edges of the wild grasses and flowers, that stretch for acres beyond his house, to rub their cheeks against the manicured lawns surrounding his house.

The effect is a startling contrast between the unkempt and the neatly trimmed.

“How does he stop the native grasses from stepping over the line?” I asked Hubs.

“Lots of care and diligent mowing,” he said.

A most effective delineation.

Every plant in his garden requires minimal water even in the brutal Texas heat,


I recognized some species from my flowerbeds, such as Vitex and this beauty, the desert bird of paradise,


Desert Bird of Paradise

and of course the delicate purple flowering lambs’ tail.


Flowering Lambs’ Tail

As a nursery owner this gardener models how to work with rather than against Mother Nature.

Our last venue of the morning belonged to the organizer of the Celina Garden Tour, Pam Collins.

We drove into Ten Trees and immediately I was transported back to the gracious manor house estates of my childhood in Buckinghamshire, England.

Her whole property is tastefully landscaped.  There are immaculate flowerbeds nestled up against the house and several strategically placed beds in the expansive lawns drawing the eye across the grass to bursts of color and unusual designs.

I recognized the Vitex from the tree I have at home, which we cut down the first winter we were in residence!   Little did we know it would grow right back the following year and bloom a vibrant purple attracting bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

At the other end of the bed stands a weeping redbud and in between, small rounded bushes that I couldn’t immediately identify,


“I love those what are they?” I asked Pam.

“Hawthorn,” she said.

How clever, I’d never seen them shaped so low to the ground before.

More cropped up in this bed featuring two crepe myrtles and creeping juniper that I’ve been discouraging at home ignorant as to its beauty and efficacy as ground cover.


By now we’d walked down to the pond, a show stopper with its central fountain that helps keep the water fresh and crystal clear.


“I could almost jump in there and take a swim,” said Hubs, “it’s so inviting.”

“Did you make it?” I asked, mesmerized by the gentle lapping of the water.

“God did,” she said, “and I thank Him for it every morning.”

So would I!

Pam’s herb and tomato garden is high enough off the ground to deter the hungry bunnies that ate my basil and lettuce earlier this year,


Keyhole Garden

“It’s a kit,” she told us, “a keyhole garden.”  I looked at Hubs and he nodded.

“We need one of those.”

I noticed Zinnia and roses, Indian blanket and daisies,

and the colorful array of snapdragons that looked as if they’d come straight from my mother’s English country garden in London.



And one other thing…

besides the red barn, of course, where her two miniature donkeys and pair of banded Galloways live,

“The bull is a sweetheart,” she told us as an aside.  Not usually two words I’d use in the same sentence!

…all her plants and trees are carefully labelled.

Pure ingenuity for this rookie gardener who is still struggling with the wildflowers and other natives that keep popping up in her flowerbeds at Footlights.


I came away with more wonderful ideas,

some small, some big,


Giant Sunflower

“Of course, everything is easier with a man and his team to tend your property for you,” commented Hubs when he saw my star struck eyes.

“You are a man,” I countered, “and I’m your team!”

“You know what I mean!”  he said.

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2017-06-09 22:43:53 Reply

We’ll get there!

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