The local garden tour today

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)June 20, 2010

I posted this on another forum I participate in, so if you've seen it already, ignore this....

The garden on the tour today were pretty unexciting for the most part. We didn't even take pictures at two of them! It was a VERY hot day too so We ended up coming home for 2 hrs. in the middle - to cool off, have lunch, and take a nap!

Two of the smallest gardens on the tour were of the 'pack in too many trees' type that looked quite interesting at this stage but in 5 years would need to be severely cleaned out to start again. Which is fine is that's what people would actually do, but I suspect what is most likely to happen is the current owners sell and leave the problem for the next owners! Also, there seems to be a big trend to using rough fieldstone on paths. I HATE that stuff! Very dangerous for me to walk on. OK - I'm decrepit so that's probably not the usual reaction. But a young and otherwise healthy person who broke a leg or foot and was on crutches would also have trouble, as would a parent of a baby in a stroller. If you want a rustic path, make one from bark mulch so it's safely walkable! Nice, properly laid and level flagstone is great but that wasn't used an any of the gardens. Fortunately there weren't any peastone paths in the gardens this year - that is the other material that is virtually unwalkable for me.

Enough complaints... There were some nice things in the gardens. These glass flowers were very attractive:

We got a chuckle out of this gargoyle that was carved by the ower of one garden:

He had also made a rather unique water feature, piping water through a twisting copper pipes that flared out into two spouts slashing the water into a big bath-tub-shaped galvanized container. It rather looked like an outdoor shower at first glance, but I assume it was a tongue-in-cheek water feature :-)

Just beside it was a VERY tall stand of bamboo that was 'caged' with a spiral of copper that ended as the lamp that you can see by the 'bathtub'. We asked if the bamboo was a clumper or a running type. The guy said it runs! I suspect the next owner of the house might need to hire a backhoe and excavate the whole property to a depth of several feet to get rid of the bamboo! But it was interesting at the moment... (There was also a New Dawn rose scaling the top of trees and shrubs nearby.) Interesting folk but I suspect the house will be hard to sell when they decide to move on :-)

Check out the height of the bamboo relative to my 5' (it's the stuff that is continuing out the top of the picture...):

This was a clematis arch. I really liked it. It was not in flower although there were both buds and seed heads. The lady did not know the name of the clematis. She said it was blue and white, with large, open flowers (not a dangling bell type). I liked the height and shape of the arch and the two sentinal cedars. The cedar hedge in the background was a good 20' tall - and clipped! I have no idea how you could clip it at that height.

The shape of the arch reminded me of one of the nicest iron arbours that I've seen. An old church on 'the main drag' had an arbour installed maybe 10-12 years ago. It's a series of gothic arches that match the church windows. There is wisteria started on it but I've never seen it bloom... It all gives a very cloister-like effect, which I assume was the intent. Randy stopped to take some pictures of it:

All in all, a good day out but the tour was not up to it's usual standard.

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Love that Gothic arbor--have not seen anything like that. Did they have it made especially for that space? It is perfect with the church. And the small parterre and topiary--just a hint of a medieval cloister.

Garden tours are great. It usually seems there is one fabulous garden, lots of nice gardens, and one...well, not so nice. But always lots of ideas.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 10:34PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

We had our local "garden crawl" this weekend too. It was 5 gardens which were all "do it yourself" featuring anything from flower gardens to purely veggie gardens (and some of both). Most people had "non-elaborate" (it's all DIY) gardens but most are probably not something that people would consider "saleable" gardens. That's because most of us don't want to sell! We moved here to move here (most of the people on the tour chose their homes based on the exterior space, and were gardeners before they moved in, only one wasn't and she is just starting her garden but has an awesome yard for gardening!!!).
NOTHING like your tour at all. However gardening isn't the only attraction. We also "crawl" from each house after fun beverage after beverage. By 4pm so many were daydrunk they went home before our dinner plans. I focused on water, and keeping hydrated and a wonderful time with good friends.

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 11:00PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

ggg - Usually most of the gardens on the tour are DIY (we were a host garden in 2006). This year there were more gardens that had been professionally designed. Some had been substantially altered by the owner but some still had the impersonal feel of a garden made for a non-gardener.

We don't intend to move from here for many years so don't really worry about saleability here. When we do sell, I expect the garden to be a negative. If the purchasers were non-gardeners they would think it too much work; if they were gardeners, they'd want their own garden, not mine! I fully expect that very little of this garden would survive under new owners. That's what happened to the garden at our previous house. Only the 'easy' stuff remains.

ginny - I assume the church arbour was custom made to match the church architecture but I don't know for sure. I think it is fabulous though!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 9:56AM
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Thanks for the mini-tour! I love the arched trellises at the church! I'm partial to arches.

What I find intriguing about garden tours is the ingenuity of some gardeners. Often something I'd never think (or want) to do but interesting anyhow like the water feature and lamp you've posted. I also have been amazed that some people would offer their gardens for a tour. I like my garden but it's definitely not 'tour-worthy' and I think the same about some that are put on the tours. However, I think some people are talked into it if there are not enough superb gardens for the tour. I'm planning to attend our local tour here which is held in July. Haven't been for a few years as it was somewhat disappointing last time.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 3:38PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Woodyoak based on your photos, your local gardeners are a whole other level of DIY than ours :)
Those arches are extraordinary!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2010 at 5:23PM
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