Sunday, July 24, 2011

Door County Trip

On Thursday of last week, Carl and I boarded a bus (one of two buses, we were a big group!) and headed up to Door County with our local garden club.  We've been members of the Green & Gold Hosta Society for almost fourteen years and we've seen many great gardens in that time.  This trip was no exception to the rule. 
There's the lead bus ahead of us as we drive about 90 miles to Door County which is sometimes called the 'Cape Cod of the Midwest.'  Since I highly doubt I will ever see the real Cape Cod in person as I don't travel very much, we're very fortunate to live so close 'the Wisconsin one'.  We usually wind up in Door County on our own at least once or twice a year to go to the fabulous county parks along the shoreline. 

Despite the fact the population up there is only around 30,000 people year round which swells to over 200,000 during the summer months, it really isn't the tourist trap you might expect with water slides and fast food joints on every corner.  The entire area has a quaint charm about it with many little shops and restaurants.  Carl and I aren't much for shopping but enjoy driving through the area.  It's usually a good ten to fifteen degrees cooler in Door County on a hot summer day and even the air feels different.  I can't describe it, really, it's just Different.  As we drove through the little towns on the way we saw artists with easels set up on the sidewalks painting the lakeshore vistas, see, it's that kind of different. Artsy and Charming.

The first garden we toured was huge.  Ann had 600 different varieties of hostas planted in her fantastic garden with the perfect backdrop of a mature woods. 
Hard to tell who's who, but Ann, the owner of this fantastic garden, is standing in the middle of the photo having her picture taken as almost 100 people tour her yard.
 Ann's hostas were all labelled and all of them were healthy and some were downright huge!
She had many pieces of garden art in the hosta beds, too.  This one was a blown glass ornament.
This little pair of bib overalls was decoupaged and stood on it's own in the garden, I thought it was really cute.
There were hostas as far as the eye could see.

All too soon, it was time to board the bus for our next destination, a wonderful garden and stained glass studio/teaching center on the shores of Lake Michigan.
There's me and the president of our club chatting about something in the driveway.  (I'm the big one in the stylin' hat.)  This is home to two very talented artists, Barbara & Doug,  and is situated on a very narrow strip of land that goes very deep from the road to the lake.  The driveway in itself is a work of art...I wish I'd taken more pictures, but I was too busy yakking.  Carl took almost all the pictures on the trip which was fine; but I found myself viewing the pictures at home and saying 'Oh, you didn't get a picture of this or do you remember that thing?  Why didn't you take a picture of it?"  Plus, we didn't have Joel's nice camera with us so they didn't turn out as good as they could have.
As we were strolling down the driveway, there were many questions about the sculptures lining the garden.  The big planters with the bowling ball towers were really neat.  I know they don't show up well here, but there were many rectangular concrete shapes buried along the way.  They are septic tank covers, stood on end and partially buried.  See, there is an alternate use for just about everything!
The artists specialize in fused glass work and have colorful surprises throughout the gardens.  They also find old pieces of junk (in their case, I think it should be spelled 'junque') and turn their finds into Art.

Fused glass and stained glass mosaics add just the right touch of color to their gardens, there is so much attention to detail everywhere.
In some cases, old arbors and porches off of homes being demolished were resurrected in their garden into various garden rooms, the one above is even home to a chandelier (though it doesn't show up very well here, sigh.) 
I loved the cast iron pineapple seated on it's fancy mosaic base.
Or how about an iron origami bird?
Check out this bench.....
What an inventive way to use broken plates.
Wonderful fountain made out of campfire rings.
The water bubbles out of the hole in the middle of each pan and then drains out the bottom pipes into a stone grotto.  It makes a lovely sound.

Gorgeous mosaic stepping stones are scattered here and there all over the pathways:

There was a sweet little garden cottage (the picture didn't turn out, but this was the window anyway...
There was just so much color, interest and art all over this lovely garden.  The owners teach classes at this location, too, and I can see how it would such an inspirational place to work.
There I am in the middle (remember the hat?) gabbing again with a friend. If there's one thing I do well, it's talk.
(I still wish I had thought to bring Joel's camera with me, we could have had two different views of the gardens.)
Old garden gate.
 More ornamentation, much of this is industrial or old farm equipment remade into art.
Lovely Mosaic planters
Neat weathervane.

This is their studio.
Love the railings and the planter dripping with sedum.
Quite the fellow!
I wish this picture were A. Closer B. Clearer C. Straight!  but anyway, these fantastic flowers are all fused glass.  They are absolutely spectacular.  I'm starting to think glass fusing might be something we'll have to try in the future.  It's so beautiful.  I also should make mosaics since I have lots of scrap glass here from our lamp and window projects.  (As Carl would say, 'Something more to do with our spare time.')
So many creative ideas in this garden!  We have been here once before and I hope we get to visit again.
Ah, Door County.  What a perfect place for a garden walk.  There are still a few more gardens left to showcase, so I hope you stay tuned!


El Gaucho said...

Great pictures, they give me so many ideas. I might not be able to make the fused glass, but I could certainly try my hand at some mosaic stepping stones (wheels spinning...).

Zoey said...

Hi Karen,
Septic tank covers -- Now that is creative!

I love that junque turned art. It must have been a fun garden to stroll through.

How great to have a garden room with a chandelier in the middle of a woodland. I have been wanting one of those chandys, but I have no place where it could hang on my deck.

And how cool is that artistic “fellow”—sure beats the wooden country angel I have in my garden!

I just love my vicarious tours of your garden walks. You can bet I am looking forward to the next installment!

Toni - Signature Gardens said...

I lived in WI for 20 years but didn't make my first visit to Door County until I had been gone for 20 years! I had no idea Lake MI was so huge!! It is so pretty up there -- quaint and charming. Sure would love to go on some garden tours up there!! How fun for y'all!!! Thanks for sharing the pics :-) Oh, those hostas...Wow!

Dandelion and Daisy said...

Lucky you....looks like a great trip to see some spectacular gardens. Isn't fun to see what great ideas other people have and how they interpret them. Wish I could have been there, thanks for sharing. said...

All I could think about on your garden tour was what do people in other parts of the country think of the art and gardens on Garden Walk Buffalo? Tastes are so varied across the country and art really brings out the likes and dislikes, especially in garden decor. GWB is coming up next weekend and I will try to make an effort to shoot the art. That is one way Buffalo stands out. The other is making the most of tiny spaces, which is often hard to shoot and get the concept of the garden. Plus it is wall to wall people, and that too makes it hard.

Randy Emmitt said...


These gardens were very nice, glad you didn't talk all the time we'd not have seen these lovely photos. Thanks Carl!

Sue said...

I just love getting to see other folk's gardens. Such creative people. Love all the mosaics. Wonderful tour--thanks for sharing.

Alison said...

Just absolutely love the mosaics! I think you should definitely try doing mosaics with the bits of glass you have left over. I bet yours would turn out great. That pediment with the ball on top is my favorite.

It's also really wonderful how they reuse parts of other houses that are getting torn down or discarded.

That picture of the window with the green shutters and Carl's reflection is neat too.

I wish we could go on garden walks together. I'm rather quiet, and you're a chatterbox. We'd make perfect companions.

HolleyGarden said...

Wow - some great ideas here! Can't wait until the next installment! I love hostas, but find it hard to keep the ground as moist as they like around here. I love the garden with the septic tank covers! What a creative mind!

Rosemary said...

Aren't garden tours so interesting. Love to see what others do in their gardens. Add in some art and each place is unique.... Love the bib overalls and the use of the septic lids and the fire pans wish I was so inclined artistically . Carl did a great job on the photos.. know from taking them myself sometimes there is just so much ,forget or get distracted by another spot of interest.....

Tufa Girl said...

Beautiful gardens. Nice to see so much greenery.

When we get up that way, Door County is definitely on the drive through list.

Sandy said...

I love the glass fusing trellis.. it's wonderful. Such a lovely place to stroll.
I must say it again, I love your header photo, black eyed susans are just beautiful....

Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

Such a beautiful place to visit. Awesome pictures!

Beth said...

Hi Karen, Door County brings back memories. Although I wasn't there on a garden tour, I took a nice vacation there several years ago. It is a lovely place. You have shown me that there are great gardens there as well. I really enjoyed the garden art, particularlly the re-purposed garden room made from an old porch.
blessings, Beth