Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Garden Tour Inspiration


On Sunday I went on the garden tour in my town, the same one my garden was a part of  last year. It sure was nice to visit other gardens and not have the pressure of having my own garden perfect this year!  I was particularly excited because one of the gardens on the tour is one I walk or drive by nearly every day. This is a house that I stop and look at every time, because the owners are obviously gardeners, with specimen plants in the front yard for all to see, and 3 greenhouses in the back. They have more than 1,500 crocus and species tulips blooming in their front yard in the spring, and that is quite a sight to see. I have been dying to see the backyard for all these years, and this was my chance. I knew the guy was a gardener because he was interviewed by the Post's garden editor a few years ago about his orchids. I spent most of my time at this garden because there was so much to see--more than three acres of plants.

One thing I especially liked was all the dish gardens around the garden. The owner used dwarf conifers and succulents in many of them, they were my favorites. They get a lot of their plants through mail order nurseries--no Home Depot plants here.

There were so many shrubs and trees I have never even heard of, variegated, golden, weeping varieties. This is a variegated redwood tree and a weeping redbud.

A variegated redwood tree
Golden redwood tree

Weeping redbud

This was the path to the backyard--a shady garden filled with ferns, hostas, hellebores, azaleas, and other shade plants. That's an enormous generator on the left that powers the greenhouses.

Pretty grouping of hostas and ferns

Greenhouse filled with orchids

The gardens went on forever, much to my delight. Behind the house are several gardens with different seating areas and water features, and then the greenhouses and work areas.  There used to be a pool, but it was cracked during the earthquake a few years ago and they had it filled in and now it is another garden. Behind the greenhouses are a huge vegetable garden, raspberry patch, and blueberry patch, and a lilac grove. I was in heaven. It's so fascinating to me to see how passionate people are about their gardens. This place is obviously their life, and they put so much time, energy, and money into it. I'm glad my garden was not on the same tour, because this one was really a superstar.

Loved the working areas

And wouldn't you love to have a tiled wall depicting yourself in your garden next to the back door? It was custom made for the owners many years ago.

The mulched area is where the pool used to be

Vegetable garden

An interesting feature at another house was this rock garden along the shady side of the house. I loved the simple use of river rocks and plantings, along with a few pieces of art. 

And I'm always a sucker for fairy gardens...

I have never seen a pink oakleaf hydrangea, and I loved it. This garden also had a curbside strip of wildflowers in front of their house, which was so pretty. I've always wanted to turn that strip of grass in front of my house (the tree lawn) into a garden. Hmmm.

And I liked this colorful arrangement of pots on the steps.  I thought these were vintage pots, but the owner said he gets most of his pots at Homegoods!

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