August 02, 2023

Last week I road-tripped 7 hours west to remote Marfa, a sleepy desert town in far West Texas that’s also, thanks to Donald Judd, an art mecca drawing visitors from all over the world. Quite a few Marfa lovers from Dallas, Houston, and Austin own second homes in the area. More-temporary visitors like myself stay at one of the few hotels or rent an Airbnb for a few magical days.

I’ll post pics from Marfa and other sightseeing soon. But first I want to share a fun garden — of course I visited gardens — by creative upcycler Robert Bellamy, a Dallas-based designer who owns a small second home in Marfa, which he rents out as an Airbnb called Marfa Hill House. A rusty BBQ smoker, planted up with prickly pear, greeted me.

An old propane tank turned into a zinnia planter and a drilled-out stump holding an agave added to the fun repurposing.

One corner of Robert’s guest casita bristles with spherical yuccas.

All that green looks so pretty against terracotta brick.

Another look at the stump planter. The undulating row of trees and shrubs in the background screens Robert’s garden from the highway.

The guest casita — rented out separately as The Canteen — is charming with glass-paned metal barn doors that slide across various openings.

The structure makes a handy party house when Robert entertains.

The gravel patio is enclosed by a low, curved wall.

At one end, a built-in banco shaded by a ramada offers seating at a metal dining table.

A corrugated shed is tucked off to the side.

You step up into the main garden, where a lawn backs up to a surprisingly steep hill. Marfa isn’t particularly hilly, so Robert’s 100-year-old adobe house sits atop one of the highest points in town, with great views from the front porch.

For a desert garden, it’s unusually lush, but most of the plants are dry loving, like sunflowers, salvias, desert willow, and Mexican feathergrass.

Phlox was a surprise, but Robert says it thrives here, never getting powdery mildew like it can in Austin. It smelled great too.

Along the stair landings, Robert created a tribute to the mysterious Marfa lights: pyramids of stacked, turquoise slag glass that glow when lights in the concrete pillars are turned on. I’d love to see it lit up at night!

Here’s a view from above, along with The Canteen at the bottom of the hill.

Javelinas have been invading the garden at night to nosh on Robert’s prickly pears. He’s strung up barriers, but the javelinas keep finding a way, even along the steep rock wall below the house.

I love this vignette of a curvy planter embedded in the rock wall, with prickly pear cascading over the top and the porch ramada above that.

The high view

At the very top of the property behind the house, a graceful mesquite tree leans toward a simple folding chair and stump table.

A balcony-like patio runs along the old adobe house…

…to a sheltered porch, where shadows play against the sandy walls. I didn’t take pictures indoors, but it’s cozy and charming. You can see pics on the Airbnb listing, along with more images of the garden.

Heading back down to the car, I noticed another stump planter displaying a yellowing agave with a tall flower spike. Most agaves die after flowering, and it’s all part of the process. This one is going out with a bang.

In the lower garden, Pride of Barbados catches the light with its ferny leaves.

So does gossamer Mexican feathergrass, which encloses a secret patio with a stump seat and stone table adorned with a piece of turquoise glass. The landmark Marfa water tower can be seen in the distance.

Thanks for sharing your delightful garden with me, Robert!

Up next: Sightseeing, landscaping, and Wes Anderson-style architecture in Marfa.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

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Digging Deeper

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance; simply click this link and ask to be added. The Season 7 lineup can be found here.

All material (C) 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Robert Bellamy’s upcycled Marfa garden appeared first on Digging.

The fun, upcycled garden of Dallas designer Robert Bellamy in the art mecca of Marfa, located in far West Texas…. Read More
The post Robert Bellamy’s upcycled Marfa garden appeared first on Digging.Read MoreDigging

August 02, 2023

Last week I road-tripped 7 hours west to remote Marfa, a sleepy desert town in far West Texas that’s also, thanks to Donald Judd, an art mecca drawing visitors from all over the world. Quite a few Marfa lovers from Dallas, Houston, and Austin own second homes in the area. More-temporary visitors like myself stay at one of the few hotels or rent an Airbnb for a few magical days.

I’ll post pics from Marfa and other sightseeing soon. But first I want to share a fun garden — of course I visited gardens — by creative upcycler Robert Bellamy, a Dallas-based designer who owns a small second home in Marfa, which he rents out as an Airbnb called Marfa Hill House. A rusty BBQ smoker, planted up with prickly pear, greeted me.

An old propane tank turned into a zinnia planter and a drilled-out stump holding an agave added to the fun repurposing.

One corner of Robert’s guest casita bristles with spherical yuccas.

All that green looks so pretty against terracotta brick.

Another look at the stump planter. The undulating row of trees and shrubs in the background screens Robert’s garden from the highway.

The guest casita — rented out separately as The Canteen — is charming with glass-paned metal barn doors that slide across various openings.

The structure makes a handy party house when Robert entertains.

The gravel patio is enclosed by a low, curved wall.

At one end, a built-in banco shaded by a ramada offers seating at a metal dining table.

A corrugated shed is tucked off to the side.

You step up into the main garden, where a lawn backs up to a surprisingly steep hill. Marfa isn’t particularly hilly, so Robert’s 100-year-old adobe house sits atop one of the highest points in town, with great views from the front porch.

For a desert garden, it’s unusually lush, but most of the plants are dry loving, like sunflowers, salvias, desert willow, and Mexican feathergrass.

Phlox was a surprise, but Robert says it thrives here, never getting powdery mildew like it can in Austin. It smelled great too.

Along the stair landings, Robert created a tribute to the mysterious Marfa lights: pyramids of stacked, turquoise slag glass that glow when lights in the concrete pillars are turned on. I’d love to see it lit up at night!

Here’s a view from above, along with The Canteen at the bottom of the hill.

Javelinas have been invading the garden at night to nosh on Robert’s prickly pears. He’s strung up barriers, but the javelinas keep finding a way, even along the steep rock wall below the house.

I love this vignette of a curvy planter embedded in the rock wall, with prickly pear cascading over the top and the porch ramada above that.

The high view

At the very top of the property behind the house, a graceful mesquite tree leans toward a simple folding chair and stump table.

A balcony-like patio runs along the old adobe house…

…to a sheltered porch, where shadows play against the sandy walls. I didn’t take pictures indoors, but it’s cozy and charming. You can see pics on the Airbnb listing, along with more images of the garden.

Heading back down to the car, I noticed another stump planter displaying a yellowing agave with a tall flower spike. Most agaves die after flowering, and it’s all part of the process. This one is going out with a bang.

In the lower garden, Pride of Barbados catches the light with its ferny leaves.

So does gossamer Mexican feathergrass, which encloses a secret patio with a stump seat and stone table adorned with a piece of turquoise glass. The landmark Marfa water tower can be seen in the distance.

Thanks for sharing your delightful garden with me, Robert!

Up next: Sightseeing in Marfa.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance; simply click this link and ask to be added. The Season 7 lineup can be found here.

All material (C) 2023 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

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