Friday, July 1, 2011

Monroe County Garden Tour

 I love visiting other people's gardens, so I was delighted to take the Monroe County Garden Club's tour last weekend. The weather was perfect - not too hot - and the rainclouds had disappeared, at last. There were nine gardens open to the public, and H.H. and I managed to visit six of them. We probably could have done more if we hadn't stopped to chat so long at each place, but when gardeners get together you know there is plenty to talk about. Each garden was so very different, and I got some great ideas from them. Looking for new ideas is one of the reasons I love garden tours so much.

The first garden, a terraced garden on a wooded hillside, was made in memory of the gardener's son. He had registered his mother for the tour, believing her garden worthy of the event, in spite of her protests to the contrary. But he died in a road accident soon after. I am glad to say she went ahead and opened her garden to the public. Her son would have been proud of the result of his mother's hard work ...

Garden #2 was delightful for the many vignettes of objects and plants put together in simple ways. Near the entrance the gardener had placed a wagonwheel against a rustic fence, with a rock for a birdbath. A spirea was coming into bloom to complete the scene.

A second vignette included an old chair next to a small shade garden ...

There were some beautiful lilies in bloom in this garden. As the buds of mine are only just beginning to open, I had to photograph them ...

The third place we visited was a lovely old house, built in 1912, with the original pump house serving as a potting shed. The garden had been a large chicken yard, overgrown with raspberry and forsythia. It is now a wonderful retreat with evergreen trees, an English garden, and a very beautiful water garden...

I was also drawn to this small, above-ground water feature ...

My favorite plant in this garden was a magnificent Japanese painted fern ...

Garden #4 had three impressive ponds, spilling into each other with waterfalls, as you can see in the lead photograph of this posting. There is even an island in the middle of one of the ponds ...

I fell in love with a big, old astilbe in their entrance garden (next to the wicker chair in the picture).

The front of this house boasted a superb shady border ...

I liked the gardener's use of a birdbath stand after the bowl had broken ...

There was another lovely water feature at the 5th garden on out tour ...

This garden had the most unusually located gazebo. We walked along a beautiful woodland path, down steep, wooden steps, into the antique gazebo overlooking Paradise creek, 125 feet below...

My camera could not do the view justice. It was further enhanced by the delightful sound of the rushing waters of the creek and a nearby waterfall.

As soon as we arrived at the 6th garden, we knew bee keepers lived here ...

There were bees everywhere and the plantings in the garden were chosen to attract pollinators.

I loved the structure of the aliums that had gone to seed in this garden ...

This gardener had a fascinating collection of miniature hostas ...

                                                                                     ... so now I have a new love!

I hope you enjoyed visiting our local gardens with me.

Wishing you a happy July 4 weekend!
Pamela x

~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.


  1. Pam these are beautiful gardens - they look so serene! Hostas are some of my favorite perennials.

  2. Pam, the garden tours were so much fun, I'm so glad you took us along. The first gardener's loss nearly floored me and she had the courage to go on with the walk, too? Her son would indeed have been proud.

    Loved all the water features, that island is such a neat idea. And that gazebo with the precipitous drop for a view...Wow!

    I hope you have a happy and safe 4th of July weekend, too!

  3. I did enjoy your tour. Our garden walk season just kicked off last week with the Lewiston event and each weekend have two to three per day to visit. I am like you, I love to visit other peoples gardens. Do you have many tours in your area to keep you garden walking all summer?

  4. Pam, thank you SO much! Garden tours for me - one of the favorite events of the year.

  5. I see why you couldn't make it to all nine gardens. How wonderful. You sure had pretty weather for your tour.

  6. What lovely gardens! I really like the vignettes like the wagonwheel against the rustic fence. After a garden tour, I always come home with dozens of ideas and dozens of names of plants I want to add to my garden. It is always fun to see how others manage their gardens. Thanks for sharing the tour! Happy 4th!

  7. It looks like you visited some wonderful gardens, and all with something different to offer. I'm sure the first garden owner's son would be so proud of his mum, what a tragic story. I love hostas, I have a few in pots in my garden. It helps keep the slugs at bay to grow them in containers as they're a favourite food of slugs. I do like the minature 'mouse ears' hostas.

  8. Pam, Thanks for the virtual tour. You really saw some great gardens. Carolyn

  9. Pam, I love garden tours, too. Especially in my early gardening years, I was constantly learning about new plants as well as ways to use them, and I would come away from each garden just bursting with ideas and excitement. These were all special gardens; thanks for taking us along. -Jean

  10. Thanks for the tour. The water feature is so different...who says they can't be square. Hmmm I really like it, that could work in my small backyard.

  11. Wonderful tour! Thanks for sharing! What a wonderful falls.

    I am sharing a couple of garden we just saw on vacation in the south... Biltmore Estate posted this week, and the Pearl Fryar Topiary garden will post on Monday the 4th.

    Love reading along with you.

  12. Pam, this was so enjoyable! I went on my first garden tour last Sunday. I absolutely loved it and will go on all the tours I can, in the future.

    Thanks for sharing this one with us.

  13. One of the joys of visiting others' gardens are the small inpsirations - loved the 2nd image with the rock birdbath and the simple raised water feature. Such a lot of gardens you toured Pam - you certainly have energy. Thanks for sharing

  14. Right off the bat, you made me cry! What a brave mother. Beautiful pics, but the gazebo was amazing! I can't imagine what hard work it was to put it there in its location, although I'm sure it was stunning to experience.

  15. There are so many wonderful ideas here. Although I have never been on a real garden tour I really enjoy these virtual tours. So sad about the first gardener's son but as you say, it's wonderful that she decided to go ahead with the tour. I too really liked the small rectangular water feature. It got me thinking where could I put one of those on my property!

  16. Thanks for sharing your garden tour it was fun!

  17. Thanks for taking me along on the lovely garden tour Pam. I loved the shady gardens and the water features. Luckily you had perfect weather for visiting gardens.

  18. Seeing a garden for just a few minutes is like listening to a symphony for just a few minutes! Gardens are all about time and change -- so I hope you'll stop by again to see the gazebo in late summer, early autumn, winter....

  19. Great tour Pam - I love the local garden tours also - you can get a good idea of what will do well in your own area and usually there are ideas you can swipe. Love that small above ground water garden - sweet!

  20. I love garden tours too. The way people combine different plants and objects to suit their taste is fun. It's also great to see what does well in our own gardens.~~Dee

  21. What a treat to be taken along on the tour through your blog, you pics of the day are beautiful! I LOVE garden tours, so inspirational!! Also, thanks for swinging by my blog, looking forward to visiting here often...Cheers =)

  22. Those are lovely gardens, thank you so much for the virtual tour! I love traveling through blogs, and your pictures and commentary were very interesting.

  23. Pam, the gardens are wonderful. I too love to tour gardens. Our Rose Society meets in member gardens in May, June & July. It is always a joy to see the beautiful landscapes. The photos of lilies are amazing.