Enchanted evening in Lucinda Hutson's canteen garden | DiggingDigging

Self watering containers

Self watering containers

"Let's go into the garden! Ai-yi-yi-yi! "Trills Lucinda Hutson as she leads her guests, each with a rosy prickly-pear margarita in hand, over the threshold of her purple cottage and into her Rosedale garden.

Lucinda is the kind of hostess who can pull off such cross-cultural exuberance without irony or sheepishness. Raised on the US-Mexico border in El Paso, she favors colorful, flowing skirts and peppers her speech with Spanish.

Her outsized personality and affinity for Mexican culture are reflected in her home's colorful decor, courtyard-style gardens, and annual celebration of Dia de los Muertos. Southern Living

's garden writer Steve Bender and photographer Ralph Anderson to her garden, and yours truly was delighted to attend.

Her spring garden is delicious-quite literally. Lucinda is the author of a cookbook about herbs, and she mixes them lavishly amid her cottage-garden favorites like these peach-colored roses.

The Jennys has joined us: Jenny Stocker (aka Rock Rose), whose stunning England-meets-Texas garden Steve and Ralph had traveled to Austin to photograph, and designer and writer Jenny Peterson. Jenny S. is playfully taking my picture as I take hers.

La Lucinda Cantina the sign reads in a cedar structure topped by metal flames (or a squid agave?) At the back of her garden.

The wall is the back of her garage, and she recently repainted it turquoise to "brighten the place up." tree stands mulched in wine corks, and a scrap-metal lord takes a swig beside it.

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Here's what I was sipping on: a prickly-pear margarita in a saguaro-shaped glass. Spicy salt lined the kidney. Yummy!

A corner of this space contains a bathtub-turned-shrine-Our Lady of the Bathtub.

Lucinda has edged her salad garden with plates as colorful as her vegetables.

The mermaid theme holds sway in one part of the garden. This is just one of many fish-tailed maidens.

... and the garden beds, like this pink poppy.

I do not know what this pretty, purple-leaved plant is, but I suspect it's edible. Update: It's magenta spreen lambsquarters, an edible. Thanks for the ID, Linda.

Stone angel faces overlook the garden ...

... and roses scent the evening breeze. pink roses in the background.

In a shady spot beneath a gingko tree, Lucinda is experimenting with a groundcovering combination of ajuga and creeping Jenny. She is not sure how the creepy Jenny will hold up in our summer heat, but her golden leaves sure are pretty now. Lucinda's garden is the perfect place to celebrate the beauty of a spring evening.

Thank you, Lucinda, for an enchanting garden party!