Thursday, May 22, 2014

I Wanna Bee a Hippo

The garden of Mike and Donna Fowler in Hutto, Texas makes me want to bee a hippo. 

If were I hippo, I could live in their lovely garden all year long.

On Tuesday, I was invited to go along on a bloggers field trip to the Fowler garden. The Fowler's greeted us like dear friends from the moment we arrived. We made ourselves comfortable on one of their many patio seating areas while we waited for the entire group to arrive.

From this vantage point, I was surrounded by gardens with more gardens beyond the fences.

I knew I was in for a wonderful treat!

Beyond the front garden, our first stop was the vegetable garden complete with an Indian tee pee, a gorgeous bottle tree, and painted ladies on poles that do double duty as hose guides.

In the tee pee, Donna  treated us to a traditional Indian smudging ceremony. Donna lit a smudge stick containing sage and other plants to drive out negative energies. Among the many blessings we received were the abilities of our eyes to see the beauty and our throats to find the right words. Fitting blessings indeed!

At the edge of the garden, gorgeous blue corn flowers jumped out at me. Seeing the beauty in this garden is a super easy task. Everything is beautiful and so far my camera was getting a real work out. 

This sculpture made of glass watering balls is beyond beautiful. Where are the words? Smudging don't fail me now.

The whimsy in this garden tickles my silly-bone. These are fish sticks! Get it!

Gates and the views beyond are a favorite of mine. There are whole coffee table books on the topic. Funny, I have no such views in my own garden. Perhaps that's why I admire them so much when I visit other gardens.

As with any large garden, there are bound to be challenges. To fix drainage issues, a french drain is dressed up as a sparkling dry creek with recycled tumbled glass. The creek runs in segments which seemingly connect to each other throughout the garden.


My favorite part of the garden was the smiling hippos.

Hippos are the official mascot of Hutto. Legend has it that a hippopotamus escaped from a circus train passing through town and the high school decided to adopt the hippo as it's mascot. Mike, a published author, tells the story better. 

I just think these hippos are so cute right down to their little painted toesies.

Hippos are officially the cutest garden art ever!


"Hahaha! Yep we're pretty cute!"

This hippo's name is Heidi. She is perfectly painted with blue bonnets and has a butterfly on her nose. She looks so happy. Looking at her makes me happy!

Heidi lives nearby this wonderful piece of glass art and adjacent container garden.

Glass prisms were the starting point of this piece constructed by Mike. Like many of his pieces, he uses found objects from Goodwill and other thrift shops.

Bye Heidi. I miss you already.

Many thanks to Mike and Donna Fowler for sharing their garden with us today.


  1. Not sure if my last comment went through ... What a beautiful garden. I love the hippos. You did a great job showcasing it.

    1. This was a very cool garden. I didn't use half of my pictures. There was so much to see.

  2. It looks like such a fun garden to visit. I remember this one from GTG and loved it then so it's fun to see it again from different angles.

    1. I saw this on CTG as well, but it definitely looks different in person whe you can take it all in.

  3. Wow! Thanks for all your gorgeous photos of this unique, special place. I bet it is beautiful any time of year with all the glass art, hippos and other creative touches. I love pretty gate views, too... need to work on that in my own garden. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Interesting thoughts. I wonder what it looks like in winter. I've been trying to add more evergreens to boost winter interest, but I bet sculptures would have that effect as well.

  4. I enjoyed seeing this unique garden again through your eyes, Ally.

    1. Ditto Pam. It's always interesting that no 2 bloggers see the space in the same way. Just goes to show how personal gardens are.

  5. Nice tour, Allison!
    I now have bottle tree, rain tank and Heidi envy.

    Cindy S.

    1. I definitely need a hippo. Apparently a concrete place in Texas makes all those hippos. I bet they are heavy. Wheels a turning...

  6. One year, around Christmastime, I was walking around the office humming that "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas" song, so one of my coworkers found a little glass hippo ornament for me. I wish I had been able to make it to the garden tour because it looks just gorgeous. Though I don't know how much Shawn would have liked me coming home and announcing that we needed to install "fish art" in a few choice locations in the yard...

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