Monday, May 20, 2013

Annual Mother's Day Garden Tour Part IV

And so begins the fourth and final installment of the Mother's Day Garden Tour pictures.

The next house we visited had an arbor at the sidewalk and some lawn as pathways.

The gate to the backyard had some impressive heft to it.

I was told that everything planted in this yard was edible except for the lawn.

I'm always intrigued by the methods people use to edge their lawns and separate it from their beds.

I was with touring with an architect who didn't like this back porch/stair case at all.  I was enamored with it though.  I'd probably try growing several plants in pots along the way.  I'd love to see some cascading plants way up there.

Even the bunny is edible . . .

But that feast will be saved for another day, I guess.

The last house on the tour was a "white and grey" garden as far as the plantings were concerned but the pool really dominated the scene and the white and grey was more of an accent I thought.

I really liked this container.

And I appreciated some of these touches:

This bacopa planted window box will just look better and better as the summer progresses.

That's all for this year.  Thanks for coming along.

The Annual Mother's Day Garden Tour Part III

The garden tour continues . . .

First up today, I'll show you pictures of this contemporary zen garden dominated by a cool pool.  The picture below is what you see as you walk up the driveway.  The gate to the back yard is swung open and you can see it to the left in this picture.

The pool is bordered by this very clean looking concrete tile. 

It wouldn't be very zen without bamboo and sculptures.

People loved these pebbles and what I believe is dwarf mondo grass.  I did too but I wondered about the chlorine killing this grass over time and how they keep the pebbles from getting into the pool.

The next garden had an assist from their neighbors.  Check out this wisteria vine:

This back yard garden was dominated by hard materials with small garden beds.

I was enthralled by the color they chose for this railing.  Others were too.  I saw several people pose for pictures on these steps.

The garden also featured pops of color from pots as you can (kinda) see from the yellow pot below.

And this flower arrangement . . .

and this orange pot . . .

and the rules for the family dog . . .

and, finally, this glass torch which must look amazing at night with a candle burning inside.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Annual Mother's Day Garden Tour Part II

This is the second installment of the gardens we toured over Mother's Day weekend.

I don't like to be critical of other people's private gardens especially when they've been gracious enough to open them up to the public for a good cause.  So I'll just say that the next house we stopped at just wasn't my style.  As a result, I didn't take a lot of pictures but here are a few that I did snap:

There was a very small pathway between the home on the tour and the home next door.  They had decorated both sides of the dividing fence with mosaic tile work which was the theme of this garden.  There was mosaic everywhere.

I found this collection of plates and mugs a bit messy but oddly charming.

The picture below was taken from the other neighbor's side of the fence.

Just down the street from this house was another garden that was very much my style.

You enter the back garden through this awesome looking gate.

The owners' bonsai collection is on display to immediately to the left of the entryway into the garden.  It set the stage for the rest of the garden which feature quite a bit of bonsai and the garden delivered on the promise of attention to detail as you would expect from bonsai enthusiasts.

The gardeners here included several globes and maps in their decor.

I thought this was a nice way to say "Please don't climb the steps".

Another bonsai display.

The outdoor kitchen.  These are pretty common in Northern California as we have a pretty long outdoor season.  It's not uncommon to smell the evidence of a barbecue from March through early November.

This garden also had a covered fire place and one of the cleanest pond/water features I've ever seen.

I admired the straight lines and rock work that made up a good part of this garden.  It doubles as a seating area allowed the gardeners to pack their yard with plenty of plants while maintaining a clean and orderly overall appearance.  

More to follow in the coming days.  Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Annual Mother's Day Garden Tour Part 1

I've been taking my wife and mother-in-law to a garden tour each Mother's Day weekend for the past seven years.  The tour raises funds for an elementary school in the neighborhood where these gardens are.  

It's a great tradition for us even though we all feel like it's become much more of a "backyard living" tour than actual garden tour.  There were seven stops total and I'll share pictures from most of those stops over the next few days.  

This first house was by far the most "garden like" house on the tour.  

There was no lawn in the front yard.  Only the flagstone patio with the fountain in the middle as pictured above and the flower beds shown in the first picture.

I love rain chains.  I've never been able to get one that worked very well for me but I love the look and the whole idea behind them.

I remember a whole thread of posts on Dave's Garden called "Show Us Your Compost Bins".  I think a lot of avid gardeners avoid composting because they have small spaces and they don't want it to look bad.  But this three-bin series fits right into the yard and doesn't look bad at all.  

The sound of running water is always welcome in the Sacramento heat.

These adirondack chairs were right next to the pond.

A single grape vine growing in this narrow side yard.

This jasmine-covered arbor smelled wonderful.  My wife, who sneezes every time she even happens to see a jasmine plant remarked out loud that she thought it might be worth all the sneezes to have this in our yard.

I'll leave you with a shot of their back porch.  The watering can was a staged item, I'm sure, but it was a nice touch.  

Stay tuned for more pictures in the coming days and happy Mother's Day to all the Mother's out there.