Thursday, July 7, 2011

Garden Walk Season

Believe it or not, there are times when Carl and I escape from our own garden nightmare here and go see what other people have growing on.  We have belonged to a local hosta society for over a dozen years and have been privileged to be invited into so many of the gorgeous gardens of our membership and also on bus tours.    But before we joined the hosta society, we always went on the big garden walk held every year in nearby Green Bay.  Seeing the gardens on those walks always inspired us to go home and try to make something out of our sand pile here.

This post is a little late, but our garden walk season kicked off back in mid-June when we were cordially invited to join a wonderful, informal garden group on their tour of some of the most beautiful gardens around.  We drove a mere hour south to tour Betty and Richard's beautiful garden. 

Everything in their garden was gorgeous, not a weed in sight and perfectly manicured.  I loved the color of trim on the buildings and the picket fences. 
This birdhouse was a showstopper.
Isn't that adorable?  And beautiful!
Another touch of whimsy.
So many plants I have yet to try growing.
Loved this bench (and in the background, there I am, yakking away.)  I wasn't taking the pictures at this garden, Joel was, which is probably a good thing, since I would have filled up the camera right away. 

Betty has the most amazing collection of peonies.
After touring Betty & Richard's garden we were within walking distance of:
Betty & Richard devote a lot of time to this garden, too.
We loved the entrance gate.
I really wish there could be a 'Smell-o-Vision' feature on this post, oh, the fragrant aroma of all these peonies was just heavenly.  I have never seen so many peonies in one place EVER. 

This windmill just about stole my heart...loved the stonework and the fact it has been restored.
I looked at Carl and he looked at me, "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"  We're both of Dutch heritage and the Dutch are famous for their windmills, and we have rocks and..................NO.....we interrupt this insane thought pattern, we don't need more work to do.  (Besides, we already have two stone projects in need of completion).  But it's fun to dream.

Just like peony season, all too soon it was time to bid these gorgeous gardens goodbye.

And last, but not by any means least, the last stop of the evening was to our friends, Larry & Sarah at Oak Lawn Gardens.  We met Larry through a mutual gardening friend years ago and when he invited us to see their absolutely stunning, splendid, amazing....ok, there are no words to describe the paradise they have created on their acreage, we were astounded.

I don't have pictures to show you the glory of their garden that night as the batteries on the camera went kaput, but I am urging you to become a follower of his excellent blog:

Conrad Art Glass and Gardens

Most of you are probably already followers of Larry & Sarah's truly botanical Masterpiece, but if you aren't, you are in for a wonderful treat.  His photography is beyond compare and the scenery he is photographing is all a tribute and testimony to their unceasing care and devotion to the gardens at Oak Lawn.  I have learned so much from them and have enjoyed each and every visit to the gardens.  Every season at Oak Lawn brings another vista of beauty, it is truly a four season garden.  (And don't get me started on Larry's stained glass creations, he is a true artist!)

This weekend we will be off and running to the Green Bay Garden Walk again.  I can't wait to see what is in store this year.

I'll be sure to share the lovelies with all of you, too, it might be later than sooner, but I promise!

I'm linking this post to Roz at la bella vita: Fresh Food Friday and Seasonal Saturday


Betsy said...

Wow, how beautiful! I would have been right there with you on the walk. Love the windmill. The peonies are so gorgeous, I bet they scented the air nicely.

Roz from 'la bella vita' said...

My brain simply cannot take in all of this awesome beauty! I would so love to have been able to tag along to see this garden! I hope that you can share this post on my weekend blog hop that I also invite gardening posts. I'll have the link up tonight if you'd like to join in. i've got a lot of ideas just from your photo-tour!

Shirley @ The Gardening LIfe said...

I am impressed with the collection of peonies, one of my favourites for the garden (as you can tell from my own blog, The Gardening LIfe). The birdhouse is such a cute idea! Thanks for sharing!

Lona said...

Wow, what a beautiful garden they have.The yellow peony is so lovely. I like touches of whimsy in the garden so love the bed frame. My eyes popped out at those peonies though. Wow! It has to be an amazing sight to see all of them up close. Joel took some fabulous pictures.

Alison said...

Love the birdhouse with the green roof, and the windmill is pretty cool too. The first thing I thought when I saw it, was "Karen's going to make one!" I bet you could. You totally could. Take apart the something else bed, and turn it into a windmill.

I'm glad you do take breaks from your own garden to go on garden tours.

Kelsie From Our Country Home said...

That windmill is gorgeous and I think I need to figure out how to incorporate on onto the property here.

My father is dutch, which also explains my love of tulips and boats :)

Thank you for taking us on the garden walk with you.

Blessings Kelsie

Peonies & Magnolias said...

What a wonderful garden walk and those peonies are gorgeous. One can't have enough of them. Love the birdhouse idea.


El Gaucho said...

I would have commented sooner, but I got completely distracted with the Conrad and Art Glass blog. Holy smokes could I kill some serious computer hours (and I will eventually) looking through all those blog entries.

Oh, and if you do actually build a stone windmill (regardless of it's size), I'm afraid I'm going to have to pack the Missus and the pooches in the car and take a road trip to come see it.

Darla said...

These gardens are beautiful and so is Larry's, I am a follower of his blog...BUT I still believe you have one of the prettiest gardens I have ever seen.

Toni - Signature Gardens said...

Okay. Y'all HAVE to make that rock windmill! You can do this :-) That is THE cutest!!! Yes, I already follow Larry's blog. It is amazing. I think you know I'm going to visit his garden as well as yours when we visit in August. Looks like Saturday August 13 is going to be the day -- I hope that works for you. I went on a garden walk with my sisters when I visited last year in Wis. Rapids. I was blown away at the gardens. Such vibrant colors. I'm used to faded colors of plants having to deal with 105 for days on end with no rain. I'm happy with them until I visit up north and see what blooms look like when they don't have to live in a furnace for 3 months. But when the snow is piled high, I'll be smiling :-) See you in August. I am SO EXCITED!!

HolleyGarden said...

Betty and Richard's garden is beautiful - and I, too, loved the little bird house! The peonies were amazing! What a fantastic experience that must have been! Your photography is stunning, too. Maybe you can put the windmill project on "next year's" list!

Anonymous said...

The birdhouse is so cute, an idea worth borrowing. And that peony garden. WOW. I would be in peony heaven. Just gorgeous.

africanaussie said...

Just like you I love to tour other peoples gardens, and always end up with more projects than I have the space for! Mmmm I can see a windmill in your future :)

Randy Emmitt said...

The peonies are wow! I liked the windmill also and I'm Irish. These garden tours must have been fun. One needs weeds in the garden though, got to have them for the butterflies.

Beth said...

Hi Karen, The peonies are just fabulous! The variety is amazing. I really enjoyed your post. Enjoy your next garden tour!
Blessings, Beth

Larry said...

I think your comment on my work was on the generous side, but I do appreciate it Karen! Larry

Roz from 'la bella vita' said...

Karen, thanks for sharing this beautiful garden tour post on Fresh Food Friday/Seasonal Saturday! I just love it and want to thank you for being one of only 3 gardeners who shared a garden post last week. I'm still going to feature you soon, OK?