Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Yard Crasher #11: Open Garden Preview Tour

I had the opportunity this last weekend to tag along with other local garden bloggers for an early preview of the Hardy Plant Society and Garden Conservancy fundraising Open Garden Tour.

I'm a total new kid on the block when it comes to gardening groups, organizations, open garden tours, etc. I've spent the last 20 years digging in my own dirt, without really being aware of the big ol' world of gardening events.  I've never gone on an open garden tour, other than our little neighborhood one, so I was pretty excited to be included.  Because I'm sort of out of the loop, I'm going to send you to a post, that one of my carpool buddies wrote, which includes all the information about the garden owners, and the upcoming tour next weekend, August 29, 2015.  You'll find it at the end of this post.  While I'm lacking in the particulars department, I have tons of photos to share, and hopefully I do the three gardens, that I was lucky enough to walk through, justice.

The first on our stop was definitely a gardener's garden.  Lots of plant variety, including perennials and annuals, succulents galore, that made me want to come home and build a greenhouse to overwinter all the cool ones in, and a GIGANTIC area for edibles that really, really made me want to move to a house with more dirt.  I believe they said their house sat on 1/2 acre.

Enough jabbering, here's a walk-through of the first stop.
I'll start in the backyard, since that's what I photographed first.
I'll attempt to keep the words at a minimum, and just let you look at plants.
The color of all the photos is from the extreme fire smoke in the air that morning.
It was so thick you could taste it.
It almost looked like sunset, with the orange-y hue over everything.

Anyone know this one?
Looks tender.

This color yellow makes me want to add an Abutilon to the yard next year.

The pods on this Dogwood were awesome.

Check out the trunk on this sucker.

My favorite color of limey green foliage.

Sedum and succulents galore.

The homeowner mentioned it was too bad the tour wasn't earlier in the summer, because of he and his wife having over 30 varieties of Clematis that we missed.
I loved this one.

This was one of my favorite combos.

The lot wasn't much wider than a standard, but it went back, for what seemed like, forever.
That's where all the fruits and veggies were.
The amount was amazing.

The edibles carried out front with a persimmon tree.

I didn't even notice this Geranium until another blogger pointed it out.
So, so cute.
I love the leaves, too.

I love me some Alliums.

And last, I need this Clematis in my life.

Onto the next stop.
I knew I was going to love it the moment we pulled up.
Conifers galore lit up the entire corner lot.
You know my dream of having a place big enough to let all of my little potted trees be set free.
I was drooling over the limey evergreen prettiness.
Grey-blue foliage was the theme in this garden.
It made me want to add more to my own yard.
In fact, the variation in foliage colors and shapes in this entire garden are what I'm slowly striving to achieve in my own.

You know how much I love a curvy, perfectly edged lawn.

I believe the woman of the house said the house sits on 1/4 acre.
And lest you think it's all just shades of green, not that that would be a bad thing in my book, let's head to the backyard.
Her affinity to Fuchsias started along the path to the back.

The Gunnera was the star of the show in this bed, but you'll see how the blue-grey was carried throughout.

I would never have the dicipline to stick to one shade of pot like this, but I can definitely appreciate it.

There were several of these potted ferns and they were huge.

I have a friend who's going to want the names of all the plants this color.
I'll let you guys identify them in the comments.  :)

I loved this Barberry.

This was the second of the day.  I think I need one.

As big as the space was, it was broken up into lots of different areas.
I imagined I would use some for lounging, some for entertaining, some for reading, some for taking a quick break in the shade while gardening.

I really loved this corner.

This was such a cute little spot.

I think I need to try one of these.

And the last photo from this garden, "Hands where I can see them!"

The last garden of the day was the smallest, meaning it seemed to be on a standard sized lot, and also the most formal.
I fantasize about having the discipline to rock some boxwood hedges in my yard.
I was living vicariously through theirs as I toured.
The front yard was unassuming, and didn't really give you a taste of what was to come around back.
It was very tidy, which I love, and had a HUGE maple shading the entire area.

The bed along the driveway started the telling of plant people living here.

Once you rounded the corner to the back, you were smacked in the face with color.
I was laughing at myself the other day, as I was out front taking pictures of my 'Vanilla' Marigolds.
I was thinking, there's no way I'll get into the cool kid's club growing these, but I love them.
Well I would say the theme here was bright yellow pom pom Marigolds.
They bordered the patio and drew you into the yard.
That first impression was gorgeous.

In addition to the patio table, there was a little nook in the corner for lounging with friends.

The anchor in the center of the garden was a formal fountain.
I've always dreamed of having one like this.

I loved this Anemone.

The stars of the show in this garden, for me, were definitely the planted urns.

And there we conclude the mini tour.
For more information on the event, and how you can walk these private gardens for yourself, check out these other two posts:

Flutter and Hum:  The Food, the Shade, and the Formal - three totally different gardens

Amateur Bot-ann-ist:  HPSO and The Garden Conservancy Open Day Tour Preview (August 29)

I'd like to say thank you again to the gardeners, for opening up a weekend early, and allowing us to traipse through their labors of love.


  1. It sounds like you had fun on the bloggers' pre-tour. I've been looking forward to reading your post about it.I careen wildly between wanting to be a member of the Cool Kid's Club and thinking 'Oh, bugger that! Just do what you love." Sometimes being a member of the cool kid's club involves making plant-buying into a competitive sport. That said, I have rooted starts of that Geranium (Pelargonium sidoides) which I'm planning to give away at the spring plant exchange. I'll overwinter them in my greenhouse, but if you want one and you're there next spring, it's yours.

  2. I'm glad we all went. (I especially love that photo of Matthew and I.) Hope that the tour goes well this weekend.

  3. This looks like it was a fun tour and a great way to meet new friends. All three of these gardens are gorgeous. I love the huge veggie garden and the little mule carrying the wine bottles is so stinkin' cute.

  4. oh my goodness...these are all beautiful. how fun that would be!!

  5. O, my goodness, this beautiful tour must have been Heaven for a gardener like your sweet self. I really enjoyed all your good photos, too.

  6. Dagnabit. I want to have a garden :( But that's like a three legged cat saying it wants to be a ballerina. Just ain't gonna happen.


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