Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Friendly hippos ahead in the art-filled garden of Donna and Mike Fowler

Thirty miles northeast of Austin, the formerly sleepy hamlet of Hutto is growing as quickly as a hippopotamus in a lake full of duckweed. But the town still has a friendly, everyone-knows-everyone vibe, and its most congenial hosts have to be the former mayor and found-object sculptor Mike Fowler and his plant-loving, garden-creating wife, Donna Fowler. They own a beautiful, 100-year-old home on three large lots that they’ve turned into an art-filled garden, which we'll tour during the Garden Bloggers Fling next May.

Donna, who is a hospital pharmacist by day, says, "I come from a long line of farmers and gardeners on both sides. I'm originally from the Panhandle of Texas. Mike and I moved to Hutto in 1978, when there were only 500 people in town. We live in Mike's family home that was built around 1886. It has been a labor of love to restore it, add on to it, and make the grounds beautiful." 

What will you find in their garden? Well, hippos, naturally! Mike successfully lobbied for the hippo to be adopted as Hutto's official mascot, and you'll see colorfully painted concrete hippos all over town and throughout the Fowlers' garden.

But you'll also discover a huge vegetable garden with a tepee, Mike's playful garden art, and an exuberant mix of flowering perennials and palms, Texas-tough yuccas and hesperaloes, and native wildflowers. It's a welcoming, sit-and-stay-awhile garden with lots of seating plus a shady lawn, where we'll enjoy a tasty box lunch during our garden stop.

You'll visit this beautiful garden and many others next May if you join us for the Austin Garden Bloggers Fling. Don't miss out -- spaces are going fast. Register for the Austin Fling today! And by the way, if you want to see who else is already signed up, click here.

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