Trendy nation attraction, classic indicators at Katie Hen Farm

Could 15, 2024

Chickens and donkeys and geese, oh my! Katie Hen Farm has all of it, plus gardens galore and a contemporary farmhouse and swimming pool on 3 acres in southwest Austin — all of it adorned with classic indicators and repurposed farm tools. House owners Julie Nelson and Kay Angermann constructed this charming pastime farm and nation backyard by hand over the previous 12 years. It was my first cease on the Inside Austin Gardens Tour final Saturday.

The very first thing I observed, strolling up the driveway, was how Julie and Kay use upturned inventory tanks as show tables and pot pedestals. This vignette of yuccas, Texas mountain laurel, a sculptural cedar stump, and a kalanchoe planter atop a spherical inventory tank is about off with shredded bark mulch. Stay oaks and flameleaf sumac make a inexperienced backdrop. Pure Central Texas, this.

A steel roadrunner represents Kay’s guardian angel, in accordance with her account on Central Texas Gardener or Cooped Up (Season 1, Episode 3; begin on the 15:40-minute mark), two movies value waiting for in-process photos of the backyard and likewise the lovable approach the couple finishes one another’s sentences. As her story goes, Kay was chain-sawing cedar timber alone on the property and observed a roadrunner following her round. It appeared to be watching out for her as she did harmful work, and so she named it after her beloved grandmother Katie. The pleasant roadrunner, Katie Hen, gave them a reputation for his or her new farm as properly.

Their trendy farmhouse will get a splash of colour from yellow and aqua chairs on the entrance deck. A ceramic globe and four-nerve daisies add extra sunny yellow. Silver ponyfoot creeps between poured-concrete pavers.

Potted crops add extra colour together with a cheerful yellow door.

On the porch, a concrete cowgirl welcomes guests.

Round again, a porch runs the size of the home, with loads of house for a farm desk and couch.

The porch view — a swimming pool and spa with retro aqua patio chairs. A rock backyard extends off one aspect.

A backyard mattress close to the pool gives loads of flowers with Jerusalem sage, mullein, larkspur, Mexican hat, and salvia.

A steel flower made out of an outdated tiller wheel makes a farm-appropriate focus.

Standing cypress simply coming into bloom

Umbrellas constructed into the pool are addition for a Texas summer time.

Heading again to the poolside backyard

Galvanized tub planters and metal pipes topped with steel orbs add rural character. Hand-painted indicators level the way in which to numerous gardens.

I particularly like this inventive reuse: segments of galvanized flashing are curved right into a loosely structured planter, full of soil, and planted up with succulents. I spy one other roadrunner right here too.

Nigella seedheads

In a planted-up outdated wheelbarrow, a mini T-Rex stomps by way of a mass of ghost plant.

Kay buys and sells classic indicators and patio furnishings at HIPBILLY, and he or she’s hung her favorites throughout, like this outdated Texaco signal.

One other upturned inventory tank makes a show desk for succulent containers, together with one made out of a toy dump truck.

I don’t know what these little steel containers had been initially used for, however they had been hung all the way in which up a picket put up, every one a succulent posy.

A patchwork path of pavers and bricks provides character.

‘Macho Mocha’ mangave in all its freckled, purple glory stands out amid Engelmann’s daisy. Its yellow pot coordinates completely.

A gulf fritillary butterfly having fun with the daisies

The patchwork path results in Kay and Julie’s vegetable backyard and barn.

A windmill wheel 10 toes in diameter hangs on the barn — a standout focus. Kay purchased the wheel — a disassembled assortment of blades — whereas she and Julie had been dwelling of their former home on the town, with no clear thought of what she’d do with it. The items sat on their deck for a yr.

Once they purchased this property, they began planning their barn’s design across the windmill. The constructing needed to be tall and durable sufficient to assist the load. “It was an extended course of with a lot thought together with the place the barn would sit, its design and the place the windmill would go,” Kay writes on her weblog. “Did I point out we had no thought how huge a barn must be [to] maintain a ten′ windmill?”

As she explains:

“Julie and I had assembled it a number of weeks prior which was fairly the duty itself. Our barn builder was actually involved when he noticed it collectively that we’d not get it up there. My cousin Mark came to visit to assist engineer and carry, we had the 2 barn builders, myself and a few guys who occurred to be on the home portray. We put some 2×4’s beneath it and carried it like a pancake throughout the property. It was so heavy. Our barn builder made a body to mount it on with legs for assist. We had been capable of get it upright and relaxation it between [two] ladders after which hoist it up towards the body and centered. Our barn builder started screwing it in to the body. It was contact and go all through due to its measurement, weight and sharpness of the blades. It took all of us and many considering by way of issues as we went alongside. Once we lastly acquired sufficient screws in it to let go, all of us took an enormous deep breath and did a bunch of excessive fives! It’s one among our favourite issues on the property.”

Lights across the windmill illuminate the vegetable backyard after darkish. It’s an exquisite characteristic, with an important story of dedication to carry Kay’s imaginative and prescient to life.

An outdated gate that after belonged to Grandma Katie lives on at Katie Hen Farm.

I want I’d requested about this steel boat-turned-planter. I wager it has a narrative too.

Chickens, geese, and two miniature donkeys stay in a fenced barnyard subsequent to the vegetable backyard. A steel rooster greets you on the gate.

The duck coop…

…and rooster coop are decked out with outdated indicators.

Graffiti muralist Federico Archuleta was commissioned to color the Virgin of Guadalupe on the women’ coop.

Fashionable digs

A stock-tank pond provides the geese a paddling pool. Humorous indicators accent the cedar-shaded barnyard, the place loads of seating signifies that guests like to hang around with the animals too.

The miniature donkeys, Pearl-Snap and Pascua, noshing on hay

Heading again into the primary backyard, I ended to admire this classic inexperienced glider.

Extra outdated inexperienced chairs invite guests to sit down and keep some time.

Succulent pots hold on a trellis that attire up a cedar tree.

In a shady mattress of Turk’s cap, which is able to quickly be flowering pink, an outdated tractor grill waits to make a colour echo.

Creative housesitters made the stone labyrinth for them.

The labyrinth’s origin story was posted throughout the tour.

Past the pool, on the far aspect of the home, a prairie backyard of native wildflowers and desert willow thrives in full solar.

Mexican hats in yellow…

…and rusty orange had been in flower.

It’s one among my favourite wildflowers.

Another. That silver plant within the background is…

…’Silver King’ artemisia, seen right here with blanketflower. ‘Silver King’ is an aggressive runner, as I hear from associates who develop it, however they swear it’s manageable. San Antonio’s Rainbow Gardens has a stronger warning. As for me, I may admire it in different individuals’s gardens. It IS very fairly, particularly with the orange blanketflower.

Classic chairs parked within the wildflowers lead you again round to the entrance deck and a small garden outlined by a metal edge.

So inviting

Inviting seating in all places you look, actually

However ultimately I used to be capable of tear myself away as a way to head to the subsequent backyard on the tour.

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Digging Deeper

Could 18: On Austin Dwelling’s Nice Outdoor Tour, held 5/18 from 10 am to three pm, discover “Pinterest-worthy swimming pools and outside kitchens to considerate plantings and trendy city density options.” Tickets are $30.

Could 18: Pop as much as Dallas for the 2024 DCMGA Backyard Tour on 5/18 from 10 am to five pm. Tickets are $18 if bought on-line prior to six pm on 5/17, or $22 after 6 pm on 5/17 or on the occasion. For a sneak peek, click on right here.

June 1-2: Take a self-guided, 2-day tour of ponds and gardens in and round Austin on the annual Austin Pond and Backyard Tour, held 6/1 and 6/2, 9 am to five pm. Tickets are $20 to $25.

Come find out about gardening and design at Backyard Spark! I arrange in-person talks by inspiring designers, panorama architects, authors, and gardeners a number of occasions a yr in Austin. These are limited-attendance occasions that promote out rapidly, so be a part of the Backyard Spark electronic mail listing to be notified prematurely; merely click on this hyperlink and ask to be added. Season 8 kicks off in fall 2024. Keep tuned for more information!

All materials © 2024 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized copy prohibited.

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