Garden Blogger's Fling, Austin: Lucinda Hutson

Ah, mid-December and the gray, cold skies are back. I long for warmer climes right now, so nothing fits the bill better than visiting a remarkable and colorful garden in Austin, Texas. From the Garden Blogger's Fling in early May, I give you the garden of Lucinda Hutson, a touch of Mexican warmth on a cold day, complete with a tequila cantina, lots of colorful art and a mermaid grotto. Oh boy!

Lucinda has called this purple paradise her home for 41 years. Having traveled extensively throughout Mexico, she loves the country, its food, people, culture and art - and she has thoughtfully brought that all into her gem of a home and garden in Austin. As many Mexicans live a good part of the day outdoors in its favorable weather, it's only natural that her fiesta lifestyle would translate into garden spaces to enjoy nature and the food she grows. 

She started out growing organic herbs as she wrote magazine articles and books about cooking and entertaining, but soon expanded to growing flowers and exotic plants, as well as other edibles. She is still a cookbook author, in fact she has recently written a book all about tequila. You can learn more about that and other books on her website here.

The colorful front door, surrounded by bright pots of flowers in a festive cottage garden style.

In her front garden, brightly colored chairs nestle into surrounding greenery with hints of blues in surrounding flowers and pottery.

Many flowers attract pollinators of all sorts, the terra cotta pots definitely lend to the Mexican feel of this garden and home.

Broken pottery shards do not go to waste, they add a splash of color as mulch on this terrace.

The mermaid grotto is special for me, lover of all things mermaid or in Spanish, sirenas. I once stayed in a fabulous hacienda in Oaxaca where the host, Linda Hanna, had an extraordinary collection of Mexican folk art, including her own mermaid bathroom. I, of course, copied her. While not nearly as cool as hers, I'm still working on adding to my own. Scenes like Lucinda Huston's grotto make me very happy.

The grotto against the turquoise wall, with a wider shot of this corner of her garden and a fantastic agave in the background.  

Children's chairs, as they hang them in Mexico, on the wall. 

An outdoor shower, just in case her fiesta guests get out of hand, so she says.

This garden is for entertaining, for living life to its fullest and being enriched by happy vibes. She takes full advantage of what Mexican art, the lifestyle, the colors and flavors can do to enrich your soul. Mexico is in her heart. I appreciate that sentiment, as I, too, love Mexico, its people and the rich culture. 

Festive colors make me want a cocktail.

Mosaic art is abundant in her home and garden, here the corn details caught my eye. Can you spot the birds in the window?

A sunny nook to soak up the sun, surrounded by potted herbs and jasmine in her kitchen garden.

Another cozy bench, colorful pots and her greenhouse with exceptional details.

Our Lady of La Tina, the bathtub goddess who protects the garden.

A cantina under an arbor against a brightly colored wall. 

The interior patio and deck, a great space for entertaining.

More cottage garden flowers.

Another view with her studio workshop in the background.

Details of a fanciful wooden fish. 

Her garden is fairly small and it was quite crowded with the lot of us garden bloggers madly snapping away photos, so I kind of rushed through towards the end of our visit to take photos when most others had left. While I did not catch every detail of her amazing little garden, I hope the spirit of it comes through, full of color and life. Now, on to her home's interior, where she encouraged me to explore to my heart's content. Here we go!

Just inside the front door, it is clear this is a collection created with love.

Even the kitchen leaves no nook plain and boring - every inch is considered for color, placement and functionality. While this style is not for everyone, it is vibrant and fun to be in.

Lovely purple curtains in a cozy bedroom. I did not want to linger, it feels private.


The dining room, so welcoming.

In a creative studio space full of more color and . . .

. . . a hammered tin ceiling.

The best cat door I have ever seen.

This is inside her "creative cathedral" space she uses as a writing studio.

Here she is, the gracious woman herself, Lucinda Huston with a big smile and flowing dress.

She couldn't have been more welcoming and warm, patiently answering our myriad of questions. This little slice of paradise where the lucky ones get to stay and have a sangria with her is a place I would love to linger, which is the point, I believe. To live life to its fullest, to be surrounded by friends and food and flowers. This is an example of a life well-lived.

Thank you, Lucinda, so very much for opening your doors to 90 or so garden bloggers on a warm May morning; it's one I shall not forget!

That's a wrap for this week at Chickadee Gardens. As always, thank you so much for reading and commenting, I hope you've enjoyed a look at a little sunshine and warmth on a cold December day. Happy gardening!


  1. Your photos convey the spirit of her home and garden so well! I would love to visit throughout the year to see how her garden changes with the seasons (such as they are in Austin). Oh, and I have no recollection whatsoever of that greenhouse!

    1. Thank you, Danger. It certainly would be fun to see this garden throughout the year.

      The greenhouse - well, there was soooo much to see, it's impossible to take it all in!

  2. Thanks for sharing your photos of Lucinda's home and garden. Hers was the one I most regretted not seeing, not having gone to the Fling last year. I've now seen so many posts about it I feel as though I've been there.

    1. I'm glad you liked it, Alison. It was definitely one of my favorites, it was a favorite as far as just being a happy place to be.

  3. I'm smitten with this garden and interior. Such a breath of fresh air to see such exuberant individuality!

    1. A breath of fresh air - well said, Peter! That's how I feel about it too.

  4. Fabulous place. I enjoyed reading your take on it.

    1. Thank you Lisa! I agree, it is a fabulous place indeed!

  5. This was one of my favorite gardens on the tour and I see something new with each attendee's post, which I guess shouldn't surprise me given how packed the garden was with wonderful touches. Your opening shot of the colorful Abutilon with the purple facade of the house in the background perfectly captures the spirit of the place.

    1. Me too, Kris. Everyone's posts on this garden are so full of life. That Abutilon - I thought it was emblematic of her garden - I'm glad you saw it that way too! Cheers!

  6. Just what I needed today. The more time goes by, the more I love her garden. Your post triggered so many wonderful memories.

  7. Anonymous3:20 PM PST

    This looks familiar (maybe from past posts by Pam?). Never tire of seeing it tho.


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