Editors' Choice: A Garden Full of Secrets

Based on the historic folk gardens of Texas and Mexico, this Austin, Texas garden features native plants and a stone wall inlaid with fossils and trinkets.

| May/June 2009

  • An arbor vitae marks the entrance to the garden, surrounded by roses, hibiscus and an anacacho orchid tree.
    Photo By Paul Bardagjy

Landscape designer Jill Nokes’ Austin, Texas, garden is based on the historic folk gardens of Texas and Mexico. Though a more sophisticated and elaborate version of those historic plots, Jill’s garden harkens to their whimsical, personalized nature with a stone wall inlaid with objects from Jill and her husband, Jack’s, life together. Embedded with fossils, trinkets, yard art and everything in between, Jill and Jack’s inviting wall surrounds a garden filled with more than 275 species of plants and trees—most native to the Southwest.

Three things we love about this garden: 
1. Having become an impromptu neighborhood meeting place, Jill’s wall also doubles as an “interactive trinket swap meet” where people leave and take quirky items such as sets of false teeth, an old pocket dictionary, antique medicine bottles and more.
2.  Jill’s garden grows the cultural stories of her region. She plants yuccas that feed deer; maguey plants that Meso-Americans used for food, weaving and medicine; and Texas wildflowers.
3. A 15-foot garden circle provides a quiet spot for meditation or garden gatherings.

Read the original A Garden Full of Secrets article.

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