Lake Austin Spa Resort: "Gardening for Life"
Executive editor Jenny Andrews reports on her experience at the Garden-Design sponsored "Gardening for Life" program at Lake Austin Spa Resort
By Jenny Andrews
Photo by: Jon Whittle
The grounds at Lake Austin Spa Resort are more than just flora and fauna – they are a part of the experience. Organic gardens spill over their terraced banks, delighting the senses with fragrant blooms of red, yellow, orange and blue, and with foliage in every shade of green. Verdant hillsides, towering trees and restful waters lie beyond the shores, creating a cocoon of natural beauty. Gardening for Life is a weeklong program that celebrates the myriad of ways to integrate the garden into ones life. Garden Design executive editor Jenny Andrews was on hand to provide garden consultations, and to enjoy the experience.
There were a variety of talks to attend at the Gardening for Life event, given by experts in the gardening world, including writer and lecturer Amy Stewart who was a big hit with her talk on “The Global Garden.”
Attendees to the event could sign up for a private garden consultation with Garden Design Executive Editor Jenny Andrews (on left). Here she’s sharing suggestions for a Texas coastal landscape.
Dietician Terry Shaw showed everyone how to make flavorful pestos and salsas. Terry also gave programs on buying organic, herbs and even composting.
The proof was in the pestos — which were delicious!
Trisha passed around samples of herbs for the group to experience. Here she’s holding fresh sprigs of parsley. Trisha also gave an excellent program on “Intro to Organic Gardening,” and one on how to press flowers.
Trisha Shirey, the resort’s Director of Flora & Fauna and a wealth of garden knowledge, took everyone on a fascinating tour of the edibles garden, which is all-organic.
A little green anole (a type of lizard) tried to hide among the artichoke leaves. The edibles garden is a great place to observe the cycle of life.
The cardoon plants were hosting lots of ladybugs and Trisha showed us all the stages of their life cycle.
Later Jenny and Trisha walked through the garden — talking shop.
The lodgings at the resort are so cabin-like and cozy, it’s easy to get comfortable fast.
A shaded walkway, flanked by thriving plants, invites a stroll to the spa at the top of the hill where there are lots of treatments to choose from, some drawing their ingredients from the gardens.
There’s no shortage of places to relax and revive. Here a hammock by Lake Austin beckons.
Near the spa, purple larkspur and double pink poppies were in full glory.
Chard is just one of the many edibles growing in the gardens, supplying the restaurant with super-fresh ingredients. The restaurant’s Executive Chef, Terry Conlan, even gave a cooking demonstration entitled “Fresh!”
Author Nan Booth Simpson, who has written for Southern Living and Southern Accents magazines, and has several books to her credit, spoke on “Gardening for the 21st Century.”
At a special gathering for afternoon tea, Robbie Hudson, Director of Programming, helped pour the refreshing brews. Trisha added mints and other ingredients from the garden to the hot and cold teas.
This iced version was graced with rose petals.
Two resort staff members showed off their favorite deviled egg recipes: Pam Blanton’s “Nanny’s Funeral Eggs” and, here, Trisha’s “Flower Confetti Deviled Eggs.” It was too close to call a winner!