Mayfield Park and Preserve

Austin, TX
United States
Mayfield Park and Preserve

Home to Milton and Mary Mayfield Gutsch from 1922 through the late 1960s, this 23-acre estate occupies a hilly site overlooking the Colorado River. Over forty years, the Gutsches and their gardener, Esteban Arredondo, crafted a two-acre, classically-influenced cottage garden with rustic details, surrounded by a nature preserve.

The approach to the house is along a picturesque curving drive lined with palms and informal groupings of shrubs and small trees. Behind the house, a pergola and stone terrace connect with a more formal garden enclosed in native limestone walls. Closest to the house is a walled, sunken rose garden, divided into four rectangular beds separated by stone paths which meet at a sundial. Nearby is a rock garden with meandering paths that weave through earth and limestone mounds planted with spring bulbs. Further east is a water garden, complete with four petal-shaped lily pools arranged in a quatrefoil and connected to a central round pond via small channels. Furthest from the house is an herbaceous garden, with stone-edged beds planted with lantana, jonquils, irises, and honeysuckle, shaded by Mexican plum and peach trees. Beyond the walled gardens, the grounds are more rugged, with dirt footpaths and transplanted mountain laurels, redbuds, yucca, and Sabal Mexicana palms. The one intrusion is an asphalt parking lot which has replaced the once-extensive vegetable gardens.  

Mayfield was bequeathed to the city of Austin in 1971, which opened it as a municipal park and preserve. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.