Inside Austin Gardens Tour – Lori Daul’s Garden
Lori Daul’s Garden
3231 Oak Alley 78745
Informal Discussions All Day – Principles of Landscape Design
If a free-spirited modern artist had a fling with an introverted cottage gardener, the resulting love child garden might look a lot like Lori’s garden, which excels in using tough, easy-care plants to achieve a lush and exuberant mix of textures and colors, tamed by the sculptural solidity of cactus, agave, and yucca. The planting style says England, but the plants say Central Texas, and sitting in one of the many comfy seating areas nestled throughout the garden and listening to the sounds of wind chimes and a gentle fountain, it’s easy to forget that you’re in the middle of a southwest Austin subdivision.
In 2006 when she bought the house, it was adrift in a sea of thirsty St. Augustine, which gave Lori, a garden designer transplanted from Wisconsin, the perfect blank canvas on which to test and kill a staggering number of then-unfamiliar plants. While on her quest to discover which plants would not only live but also achieve maximum impact with a minimum of effort, she tackled a number of necessary and never ending DIY projects (including a fountain and vast quantities of hardscaping), and discovered it was the kind of workout that meant she could avoid the gym.
Lori’s design goals were driven primarily by function. She is an introvert who craves privacy and who also wants to be surrounded by nature — even though she’s living on a small city lot. Her design solution was the “flower moat” in the front yard, which presents a friendly street face that doubles as a screen to shield the front porch and a small patio from view.
After observing rainfall patterns, she installed and contoured planting beds and a back patio to encourage rainfall absorption. The plantings favor natives and well-adapted plants, with plenty of herbs, edibles, and fruit trees thrown in to benefit the local wild and not-so-wild life.