Sunday, August 1, 2010

From a Garden of Grandeur to Mine

On Friday afternoon, we had an impromptu visitor drop in to see the gardens.  I guess she didn't drop in, exactly--she was driving by very, very slowly, eating an ice cream cone and looking at the yard.  Teddy dog started barking from his perch on the front porch; ever the vigilant ten pound watch-dog Shih Tzu, alerting us to her presence.  Carl walked out to the road and asked her if she would like to have a tour.  So, ok, she didn't drop in, she was dragged in--we'll take garden visitors by force if we have to!

The view of our 'Pachyberm' from the road
 Turns out, she'd been here before, but she was a good sport about visiting again.  She is a Master Gardener (you may remember from an earlier post how I get tongue-tied around them!) and was very gracious.  As she was leaving, she asked us if we had heard about an absolutely phenomenal garden walk being held on Saturday which we really shouldn't miss.  Our fellow gardening friend, Larry, had mentioned this walk a few weeks ago, but I had forgotten, so good thing our visitor reminded us!

Well, bright and early Saturday morning, (ok, around 10AM--I am so not a morning person) we headed to Sheboygan for  Christopher Farm & Gardens.  What a fantastic experience and SO worth the drive!  This is a private garden, situated on the Lake Michigan shoreline and has only been open to the public on a very limited basis, the last time being five years ago. According to their brochure, the property was purchased in 1997 and has been expanded, now consisting of 400 acres with over 6,000 feet of shoreline and with over 50 acres of flower beds and vegetable gardens.  (Yes, I said 50 ACRES.) 
Here we are, well, ok, the car is in this photo, it's the red one!---in the one of the parking lots in their vineyard.
The brochure also states there are over five miles of walking paths, another fact I can verify since I never leave home without my trusty pedometer and I registered over 5.5 miles just walking through this garden!

The first thing we saw upon entering the garden, was this tractor!  Of course I had to take a picture!

I liked the vertical structure with plantings.
Very pretty potting shed
Barbed wire ornament on one of the MANY stone walls.
Start of 100' long grapevine tunnel/trellis, amazing!
Walking through
There are light fixtures from the ceiling, must be very pretty at night!
Huge rocks everywhere, our kind of garden!
Yes, I had to pose by one just to show the size---of, the rocks, not me, ha!
Carl always wanted his own railroad, and here is a beauty!
Complete with its own railroad bridge--there's Carl, toting our umbrellas.
Their very own depot...we didn't see the train though.
The stage for concerts in the garden
Carl, onstage!
One of many HUGE ponds--note the size of the people on the right
Loved the cows in the garden
Beautiful iron gate
Rocks and flowers everywhere
A labyrinth
Waterfall in Asian Garden
Entering Asian garden
Garden Stream
Beautiful vistas!

Koi Pond
After walking for four hours, we were finally done touring this beautiful garden, how wonderful of the owners to share with everyone.  Pictures don't do it justice and I hope I get a chance to see it again someday!

Ok, from this beautiful garden, we proceeded to an antique store, well, actually a barn, make that three barns....and we bought something that you will have to see to believe..........which will be the subject of my next post.  I'd write about it here, but this one's already way too long.  Stay tuned!!
Back to our not so grand garden, but good to be home!



Gatsbys Gardens said...

Great tour Karen. I had someone stop by one day with a sandwich in her mouth to see my garden. I saw my husband talking to her so I thought she was my neighbor, he disappeared and I was left talking!


Junebug said...

I'm so glad you remember the garden walk. How beautiful! Can you imagine weeding 50 acres, yikes! I'll be checking back to see what you bought. You have my interest!

Karen said...

Hi Eileen, Oh, I'm glad that's happened to someone else besides me; another topic for a post--I automatically assume people ONLY come over to see the garden!

June, no I cannot imagine weeding the place and I'll say this about it, there was not ONE weed to be seen, not one! It was amazing. They do have a rather large staff of full-time gardeners, but not 50 of them, so each person must be in charge of several acres. It truly was a wonderful garden to tour.

FlowerLady said...

What a wonderful garden tour. The work that has gone into this beautiful place is obvious. Those boulders are fantastic.

I think your garden is lovely, so don't cut yourself short there. I also look forward to seeing what you found at the antique barns.


Beth said...

Karen, You got some great shots at the Garden Tour! I look forward to seeing Larry's photos too. It was nice to meet you and I look forward to exploring your blog and seeing more of your beautiful gardens.