In the midst of notoriously arid Austin grows an evergreen escape perfect for wandering. A Texas persimmon towers over the garden, casting shimmering shadows on shade-loving plants below. The heady fragrance of sweet olives drifts down pathways, as does the scent of a 30-foot-tall sweet almond verbena, which has tiny, milky white blooms in spring, each one a perfumer's dream.
The garden belongs to Margie McClurg and her husband, Al, who enjoy this verdant outdoor hideaway year-round. "When you walk into the garden, you are almost transported," Margie says, "but you do have to work around the climate in Austin, because we have very hot summers here." The result of that work, though, feels effortless. Paths wind through inspired plantings, and around every corner, there are surprises for the senses. The lush designs, which are interspersed with pops of blooming color, play with texture and scale to bring interest to the landscape throughout the changing seasons.