N1 Alicia & Paul
200 Hidden Bear Rd., Liberty Hill 78642
Directions: From US 183 N, turn west on Hwy 29, drive 2.6 miles and turn right onto County Rd. 200. Drive to Blessing Ranch Rd. and turn right. At the “T” at the end of Blessing Ranch, turn right onto Hidden Bear Rd. The house is on your left.
Highlights: 2015 KLRU Central Texas Gardener featured pond, beautiful rock-work, greenhouse, creek, rainwater harvesting, goats, owner-built
This property is definitely worth a trip to the country. The pond is nestled under cedar trees, providing a shady place to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature on a hot summer day. Alicia loves to “rescue” interesting rocks and has used them in the pond landscape and to build hundreds of feet of rock walls. The kids will love seeing the goats that have their own stylish house to shelter them from the elements. Don’t miss the relaxing conversation area and new swimming hole at the rear of the property. Water for use in the house and landscape comes from the rainwater harvesting system. You don’t want to miss this one!
N2 John & Denise
109 Marcos Dr., Georgetown 78628
Directions: From N1, return to Hwy 29 and drive 5.6 miles to Ronald Reagan Blvd. and turn right. Drive 3.7 miles and turn left onto FM 2243. Drive 2 miles to Escalera Pkwy. and turn left. Drive 0.5 miles, then turn left on VP Ranch Rd. Turn left onto Marcos Dr. The house is on the left.
Highlights: First time on tour, three disappearing streams, two bubbling boulders, Certified Wildlife Habitat, owner-built
This three-acre site showcases disappearing streams. At the front of the home is a rustic barrel water feature and a stream that flows through peach-colored stone from the front of the home and disappears under a large urn. On your right as you pass through the side yard, you’ll find another urn and a little bubbling brook. At the rear is a truly amazing stream with a waterfall and two limestone boulders that are also water features; this stream runs for about 50 feet before it disappears. The area is surrounded by flagstone walkways and is totally planted with natives. Be sure to ask about the copper ionization system that keeps the streams crystal clear.
N3 Betty & Gerald
18009 North Rim Dr., Leander 78641
NOT handicapped accessible
Directions: From N-2, take Ronald Reagan Blvd. south to Hwy 1431 and turn west. Go past 183A and 183 for about five miles and turn left on Trails End Rd. Turn right at the North Rim subdivision sign. Go 0.9 miles on North Rim Dr.; the home is on the left. (If you start a steep descent into Jonestown, you have missed the Trails End Rd. turnoff.)
From US 183 and Hwy 1431 (Whitestone Blvd.): Drive west for 3.5 miles to Trails End Rd.
Highlights: On Central Texas Gardener in 2011, first time on tour, three ponds, cascading stream, fabulous Hill Country view, built by
There is a gorgeous view of the canyon from this yard. (It would be of Lake Travis if the water level was higher). The top pond appears to be filled by overflow from the pool and cascades to the second pond, which drops down a steep stream to the lowest pond nestled in the rocky outcropping. Gorgeous yellow, purple and pink water lilies bloom in the top two ponds while goldfish swim happily in the lowest one. The patio around the pool provides a wonderful place to relax and unwind while enjoying the beautiful flowering plants. Follow the path beyond the pool to find the surprise – a hidden golf practice cage with a fabulous view!
N4 Sherry & Hugh
1219 Red Ranch Circle, Cedar Park 78613
Directions: From N3, return to Hwy 1431 and turn right. Drive 2.2 miles and turn right onto Lakeline Blvd. Drive 1.9 miles to Deer Horn Dr. and turn left. Take the first right onto Red Ranch Circle. The house is on the left.
From US 183: Turn west onto Hwy 1431 (Whitestone Blvd): Drive 1.2 miles, then turn left onto Lakeline Blvd. and follow the directions above.
Highlights: First time on tour, disappearing fountain, bog pool, owner-built
This yard is the perfect example of pond owners who started small and expanded. Sherry and Hugh began with a disappearing fountain in the middle of the back yard and decided they really wanted a pond. An overturned urn spills water into a stream that empties into the new 1,500-gallon pond that is home to lilies, goldfish and koi. The old disappearing fountain basin has been transformed into a bog garden, and a new disappearing fountain has been located closer to the house. If you’re thinking about going bigger with your water feature without overdoing it, you can get some great ideas here.
N5 Gary & Lynne
505 Cedar Park Dr., Cedar Park 78613
Directions: From N4, return to Lakeline Blvd, turn right (north), drive 1.5 mile and turn right onto Cedar Park Dr. Drive 1 mile, and the house is on the left.
From US 183 and Hwy 1431: Go south and turn west onto Cedar Park Dr. (The Regions Bank is on the corner.) Drive 0.3 miles and turn left at Marquis Lane, then take the first right back onto Cedar Park Dr. In 0.2 miles, the house is on the right.
Highlights: On Central Texas Gardener in 2012, four ponds, waterfall, lotus, art and sculpture pieces, owner-built
Everywhere you look, there are water features and ponds. At the back of the home, an oval stock tanks overflow with healthy, beautiful bog plants. At the rear of the yard is a 5,000-gallon pond that the owner built with limestone from the property. A large waterfall is almost hidden by lizard’s tail, iris and canna. The bog garden across the back of the pond blends seamlessly into the irises and other plants within the pond. Be sure to find the water hibiscus – the huge red blooms are spectacular! Don’t miss the small pond near the front door and the interesting way Gary used a rain chain as a water feature. Don’t forget to pet the dwarf goats!
N6 Laura & Travis
14805 Cordero Dr., Anderson Mill 78717
NOT wheelchair accessible
Directions: From N5, return to US 183 and go south to Avery Ranch Blvd. and turn east. Drive about 2.1 miles and turn right onto Parmer Lane. Drive 0.5 miles and turn left onto Cassandra. Drive 0.3 miles and turn right on Thatcher Dr. and then left onto Cordero. The house is around two bends on the left.
Highlights: On Central Texas Gardener in 2014, three ponds, cactus, succulents, parrots, owner-built
Walking into this yard is like entering a tropical garden with ponds, tropical plants, succulents and parrots in the aviary. The “tranquility” pond is dedicated to large fancy goldfish and water lilies. The second “pilfered rock” pond is the largest and displays many large koi. The new pond this year is called “tres laguna” and is home to smaller goldfish. Every inch of this back yard has something to see, so plan on taking it all in. Take a look at Travis’s way to deter the heron’s fishing habit with monofilament line suspended over the large pond.
N7 Steve & Janet
9609 Slate Creek Trail, Brushy Creek 78717
Directions: From N6, go back to Parmer Lane, turn right and drive to Avery Ranch Blvd. Go east (toward Round Rock) for 2.2 miles, then turn left on Morgan Hill Trail. Turn left on Slate Creek Trail. The house is on the right.
From US 183: Go to Avery Ranch Blvd. and follow the directions above.
Highlights: Last on tour in 2007, owner/pro-built in 2005
Since last on tour, Steve and Janet have transformed the back yard by replacing the pea gravel playscape with paver stone walkway and patio with a hot tub, adding lush landscaping, wood deck and lighting. The spray-in liner pond is maintained by a bottom drain, biological filter and skimmer with external pump. Sit for a while and enjoy the waterfall, stream, water lilies and bog plants. The fish in the spray-in liner pond were rescued or raised from eggs by the owner! (Don’t you want to know how he does that!?!) The largest fish is named Bob and will gladly eat food from your hand and give you fish kisses. The kiddos will love that!
7112 Black Rock Bend, Brushy Creek 78681
Directions: From N7, go back to Morgan Hill Trail and turn right. Go to Avery Ranch Blvd./O’Conner Dr. and turn left. Go to Great Oaks Dr. and turn left. Drive 1 mile to Brightwater Blvd. and turn right. Drive to Sunburst Parkway and turn left, then turn left at Black Rock Bend. The house is on the left.
From US 183 or W. Parmer Lane and Avery Ranch Blvd.: Take Avery Ranch Rd. to Great Oaks Dr. and continue as above.
From 1-35: Take Exit 252 A/B to Hwy 620/McNeil Rd. and go west. Drive about 2 miles and turn right onto Wyoming Springs Dr. Go left onto Brightwater Blvd. and continue as above.
Highlights: Last on tour in 2012, built by Texas Ponds and Water Features
Large oaks surround a shady lawn with a 500-gallon pond forming a perfect backdrop for fern, annuals and native plants. Variegated ivy, fern and impatiens rim the pond. An upper waterfall drops into a six-foot stream and another waterfall gracefully flows into the pond. Margaret’s neighbors tell her they love hearing the soothing sounds of water that brings a sense of peace and relaxation. You’ll definitely want to stay a while – then maybe go home and build a pond of your own!
425 Southern Cross Dr., TX 45 and I-35 78717
Directions: From N8, return to Great Oaks Trail and turn left. Stay on Great Oaks Trail and turn right at Hwy 620. Drive 1.1 miles and turn left onto S. Great Oaks Dr. In 0.5 miles, turn right onto Nautical Dr. At the end of the road, turn left onto Southern Cross. The destination is on the left.
From US 183 or I-35: Go to Hwy 620 to S. Great Oaks, turn right and continue as above.
Highlights: First time on tour, bubbling boulder, built by Texas Ponds and Water Features
What a treasure Michelle and her family got when they moved into this house last November. The previous owner lived in the house only two months and hadn’t seen the finished pond before he sold it to Michelle. The sound of this pond is fabulous, emanating from the split waterfall and the water bubbling up through a huge boulder that was found on the property. Goldfish and water lilies populate the pond with lovely plants softening the perimeter. The yard backs to a greenbelt, making this an even more inviting and relaxing place to while away the hours.
N10 St. Louis King of France Church & Rollie (docent)
7601 Burnet Rd., Austin 78757
Directions: From N-9, go back to Nautical Dr. and turn right. Go to S. Great Oaks and turn right. Go to O’Conner and turn right. Pass under Hwy 45 and turn left on the frontage road. In 300 feet, merge left onto Mopac Expressway South and continue the following directions:
From Mopac Expressway: Take the US 183 S exit and keep right to Burnet Rd. Go one block south on Burnet and turn left onto St. Joseph Blvd. Take the first left and go straight across into the church parking lot. The garden is at the back left.
Highlights: First time on tour, owner-built three times!
This garden, adjacent to the church rectory and first built-in 1994, is truly a secret garden. It functions as a meditative area and includes a large shaded deck; all hidden behind fence covered with lattice and Confederate Jasmine, which creeps across the flowerbeds and up 20 feet into the trees. Just imagine the fragrance when it’s all blooming! The pond is nestled in a corner and surrounded by fossil limestone. Koi and goldfish swim below the blooming water lilies. A small waterfall at the back corner adds music to the area and hides the sounds of the street. In the early morning and late afternoon, mourning doves add their soft cooling to these idyllic surroundings.