Garden Oasis

Cross Creek, the home of Diana and John Kristynik, is a hidden oasis nestled 26 miles off Highway 103 east by Lake Sam Rayburn.

Cross Creek, the home of Diana and John Kristynik, is a hidden oasis nestled 26 miles off Highway 103 east by Lake Sam Rayburn.

With cabins, cattle and a dream garden, the Kristyniks, owners of Savvy The Agency and Earth’N’Stone in Lufkin, could not ask for more. They designed the garden over the course of the 30 years they have lived at the home.

A dog run goes through the middle of the house to two large iron gates that open up to the garden. Flagstone walkways lead and bend to hidden nooks among the medleys of green.

Flower bed after flower bed unfold with striking flowers and scents, each bordered by stone and boulder.

Pointing to the many ferns scattered about, Diana said, “I love ferns. There are so many different types of ferns, including wood ferns. I’ve got Asian crawling plants and aloe vera, which is good for everything. Plus, I love to cook, so I’ve got all my herbs like basil and rosemary in my garden.”

They also have everything they need to make fresh salsa, one of their favorite treats.

“Gardening is so peaceful,” Diana said. “I don’t take any medicine, so that is medicine.”

On the side of the garden is a potting shed with an outdoor shower. Following the flagstone near the shed hangs a white hammock, swaying between a Texas ash tree and post. Caladiums, irrigated plants, lilies and cacti burst forth from the ground all around.

Diana recommended sticking with native plants.

“Know the plants you put in your garden,” she said. “I’ve always got something blooming in the yard all the time. It’s nice to go home and go, ‘Look at that beautiful bloom,’ or ‘I forgot I planted it three years ago.’”

A unique feature of this dreamy space is an outdoor flagstone kitchen. It holds a Big Green Egg grill, ceramic tile countertops and cabinets. A natural stone fireplace and 12-foot cypress timber ceiling pull the outdoor room together.

“When I work in the garden, I’m constantly thinking of textures,” Diana said. “When you look out here, you see all different textures and colors; it’s beautiful. We have several different places you love to linger, porches to sit and enjoy the quiet landscape. You can even see deer walking near us in the late afternoon.”

They have an outdoor porch with a table where you can see the lake they put in about 15 years ago. The lake is about 60 feet behind their house and filled with bluegill bass.

One can overlook the lake to the cattle roaming about on the Kristyniks’ 98 acres of rolling countryside.

They also have two cabins set out on their land. Diana said the Cross Creek cabins offer nooks where one can lounge and porches to enjoy the quiet landscape and watch the wide variety of wildlife. She said there are lots of things to do like boating activities and bird watching, especially the great American bald eagle. The cabins themselves have a rustic yet modern design that are decorated to create a warm, comfortable environment. They both have fully equipped kitchens, all linens.

To reserve a cabin, call (936) 675-1010 or (936) 275-9020.

Diana took a deep breath of the fresh air as she sat on her porch and looked around.

“It’s a great place to spend time with family and friends,” she said. “We don’t travel a lot unless we go out of town big-time. But if we are home, we are usually in the backyard. We are all about having a home you love, a place you can rest and recuperate.”