Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mother's Day Garden Tour Part II

If you missed Part I you can find it "here".

Let's dive right back in with the fourth house on the tour.

Not everyone can live on a golf course, but if you have the desire, I suppose you can bring the golf course to your front yard.  This is not my style at all, but it's not my house either.

Yes, that's a putting green.  It's surrounded by Mondo Grass though and I like that.  I use it all over my yard.

I'll be blunt.  This was my least favorite garden on the tour.  I would have done a lot of things differently if it were my house, but even so I did like a few features such as these nicely concealed utility areas:

I also liked this piece of art work tucked into a corner of the yard:

But about 90% of the backyard was decking material and although I think what they had was nice enough, it was just too much wood for me (That's what she said!).

And like everyone in Sacramento, they were going crazy with their tomatoes.

The next house on the tour was my daughter's favorite.  For some reason it was decorated in a Pirate theme.  I guess it was advertising for a company.  If my daughter was the target demographic, it worked.

The yard was nice, but the hospitality left something to be desired.  I think they poisoned the grog.

These treasure chests may be filled with riches, but the real value in placing something here is in screening the hot tub.

Before we set sail on this house, let's have a look at a few of the more land-lubbing features of this garden like this large Japanese maple.

This fence hides the pool equipment.  It should look great when these vines (bower vines, I think) grow in more.

This next picture is for my daughter.  She thoughts these beach balls were "so cool".

The next house on the tour was my favorite.  This garden felt lived in and cared for to me.  I didn't get the impression that everything was planted three weeks ago.  This garden clearly has a loving caretaker.  My first clue that I was going to enjoy this garden was this Japanese maple which looks like a Koto-no-ito to me.  Translated, that means "golden old harp."  I love this tree and have a smaller version in my own yard.

And then there was this awesome bench.

Due to the shadows, the sunlight and all the people, I didn't have a chance to frame this scene as well as it deserves, but if you can look past its shortcomings as a photograph you can get a good sense of the feel and layout of the garden.

Here's a closer view of the stepping stones, ground cover, and the rocks edging the beds.

This garden had a nice-sized patio and covering it was this iron structure with bamboo roofing.  I fell in love with this because I love iron in the garden and the bamboo covering would ease the sticker shock a bit since I don't think I'd ever be able to afford a full awning's worth of iron or steel.

Like plants?  Here are a bunch of them:

And check out the colors on the Japanese maple (probably a 'Bloodgood' but who knows?)

The final house was a bit of a let down after this past one but in the front yard along their walkway to the front door they had this pretty cool "water feature".  Our summers are so hot here that any kind of moving water is always a welcome sight.

This fountain was also in the front yard along their driveway.

In the backyard was yet another fountain; this one much larger.  The artwork hanging on the fence was part of the garden tour's fundraising.  I believe those were painted by the elementary school kids.  If they were done by the homeowner . . . well, I hope that's not their day job.

The garden wasn't all about water features though.  There was nice looking hardscaping too.

And gazing balls . . . Sometimes I think gazing balls look great.  Most of the time, I think they look tacky.  Thoughts?

Thanks for joining me on my tour!  I hope you enjoyed it.


  1. Tacky...good word for the elephant/gazing ball/birdbath extravaganza. Thanks for the tour. I liked the cool bench the best.

    1. Isn't that bench great? It was enormous too. Definitely big enough to stretch out on.

  2. Some great ideas here. Love the utility screening. haha - isn't it funny that I love it the most? But I need that at my house! My utility boxes are all hanging out for everyone to see. Now, that's tacky! :)

    1. Holley, I liked that part too. It must be because the idea is easily transferable to most other yards regardless of your home's construction or style.

  3. That tree is not a 'koto no ito', but most probably 'scolopendrifolium'.