Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Last Garden Walk of the Season

This past weekend was spent in other people's gardens which was a nice change of pace for us.  We were invited to a garden walk and picnic of a wonderful group of gardeners who've included us in their fun activities and tours.  Through them we've seen fantastic gardens we'd normally never know about since most of their members live about 45 miles south of here.  I know, that's not very far, but we're always stuck here with our heads in the sand throwing rocks around, so someone took pity on us and showed us there's a whole world of gardens beyond our rock pile. 

Sunday was their group's last garden walk for the season, and the Picnic.  Yum.  Just as the gardens we toured were exciting, so was the food; everyone brought a dish to pass.  Not just your basic picnic fare by any means and the dessert table looked like something out of a magazine.  Yum, again. And they had wine, and not just one kind, but several.  So elegant, to be strolling around a garden with a glass of wine.  I poured one for myself and hoped that Carl would take my picture for once when I was looking classy.  (No such luck.)  Great picture of my backside again, and no elegant Wine Glass.  Sigh.
Visitors to my garden may be offered a glass of water or, if I'm on my game, perhaps a glass of lemonade (Kool Aid, lol) or Carl's favorite all-time beverage, milk.  That's how we roll around here.  We do have two kinds of milk for the discerning palate....2% or skim? 

So Sunday was spent eating too much again, a recurrent theme in my life, since we also had Carl's family reunion to attend earlier in the day.  I was to bring a dessert to pass for each event, so I whipped up two pans of my trademark heart-attack inducing Peanut butter and chocolate sugar frosted there's nothing healthy in here so don't even think there is just because of the oatmeal you can see sticking out Bars.  At each event, exactly half of a pan of bars was leftover, so when we got home that night, Joel asked if he could take one pan of them to work with him.  Please do.  I don't need any more calories tempting me to my doom. 

But anyway, back to the garden tours, here we are in Linda's garden:
I'm not sure of the cultivar here, but I think it's a weeping larch on a stick....(there I go again, gotta love them trees on a stick) but I could be wrong.  I love the form of this one, though.  I need to find out the best way to prune weeping trees.  I have a few around here I'm starting to wonder about and you all know when Carl and I prune things, it's not always a pretty sight.  (Thinking back to the white pine we butchered this spring.)
This was the cutest little water feature.  It made such a pleasant sound.
The pond was gorgeous, the water clarity was crystalline and the koi were huge.  The stream started at the waterfall and meandered through the yard.
This is a floating basket of water plants, I loved the reflections in the water.

Their gazebo was amazing.  I loved the stonework surrounding it, too.  The entire structure is screened-in and though I didn't get a picture of the inside it is wonderful, very roomy and airy and just perfect.  That's why Carl and I need to finish our stone house fiasco; we need a place like this where people can gather out of the weather when they come for garden walks and weddings, etc. 

Several years ago a group of Master Gardeners from Green Bay came out to our place for a tour.  They  requested a building to set up some food in and a place to hold their meeting and the only building we had available was our garage, which is not a pretty sight. Some people have gorgeous garages, with painted walls and Orderly Everything.  We do not.  Ours is bare studs and concrete floors stained with oil from years of oil changes with the pleasant aroma of unleaded gasoline wafting through the air.  We did try to make it as presentable as possible, but that took time away from making the garden as presentable as possible, too, and where to go with all the stuff in there??  So yes, we do need to finish our goofy stone house and soon. 
Their yard was scattered with very large deciduous trees and so was very shady.  This berm looks newly planted but I really liked the height difference in the garden. 
I loved the stained glass in the garden.

Not sure, maybe you can tell me: Is this a Japanese Garden Anemone?
Isn't this amazing?  Dried flowers and moss framed with a little fence. 

All too soon it was time to leave Linda's beautiful garden and stroll over to our next destination.  The two gardens were right across the street from each other.... this is the entrance to Betty's garden.  Roses on both sides.
And ornamental grasses catching the late afternoon sunlight.

Another amazing water feature. 
Perfect placement of statues and plants.
Speaking of plants, ever see a begonia like this one before?  I don't know what it is, but the foliage was amazing.
It flowered, too, but those leaves...wow.
The plant looks like it's frosted.  Very pretty.
This was also a new begonia for me.......love the polka dots.
Such clear water again....look at those koi enjoying a snack.
Hosta Wonderland!  Betty's garden is wooded and there are inviting trails to follow. 
How do you work this thing?  (The camera, not Carl.)
Apparently he figured it out.  I loved this bench surrounded by hostas and trees.  So serene.
Except for the sneaky photographers.
 I loved the idea of the birdsnest spruce as a border...it really is pretty.
Much better picture of the bench.  Like I said, serene and cool and just lovely.
Rocks!  Love them.
All too soon our lovely afternoon was at an end.  The sun was going down.  What a wonderful way to spend a day surrounded by beautiful gardens and wonderful friends.

Time to head back to our rock pile.  Our thanks to our hosts for a perfect time!


Beyond My Garden said...

Other peoples gardens are so inspiring. even if I'm not crazy about the whole thing, there is always an arrangement or plant to inspire me. That is what I love about blog visiting. Those people with the water are lucky to have it. The stream really adds character to a garden. You had a good day.

Sall's Country Life said...

I envy you and all the beautiful garden tours you get to! If I get out it's to go paint somebody's living room,ughh! Waiting for the grass to dry out so I can mow today, double ughh! Wish I were weeding in your gorgeous yard today! Afterward, we'd have a glass of wine!:)

Peonies & Magnolias said...

Great way to spend a weekend and seeing the gardens through your wonderful pics. I love visiting other gardens for new ideas to try in our garden.

Just seen Texas Tufa's pictures of your garden. Awesome, so neat to see another's view of the same gardens. Beautiful as always.


Lana from Farm Life Lessons said...

It's wonderful to get to see the awesome photos and to get great ideas from your fellow gardners. I love the stonework, water features and the stained glass features!

Alison said...

You saw some beautiful gardens, what a great way to spend the day. It's nice to see you relaxing on the bench. I'm pretty sure that is a Japanese Anemone. And I think the begonias are called angel wing begonias. That dried flowers-and-moss thing with the bit of fence in front is very cool. I'm so jealous of their nice clear water -- where is all the string algae? It must have come to my house, to play in my water feature, LOL.

I love that last photo, the silhouette with the grasses. That's your own garden, isn't it?

Wonderful post.

Rosemary said...

Karen I am always in awe of your garden but the gardens on your tour also have me in awe........ amazing... water features.. my fav the little bird one. Isn't it fun to see what brings garden joy to others? I find each garden reflects the owners soul or so I think ..... Tho I love my young little garden I so wish for large forests of trees to shade the yard..maybe even a rock or 2.

Missy said...

Thank you very much for taking us along with you to these gardens. I've shown John your photo of the water running over the rocks into the last pond. They way they've done it solves a problem we've had for ages with our pond. We could never get the waterfall to look right. He's now under instructions to copy their idea. So again - THANKS!

El Gaucho said...

What wonderful gardens, the stone work alone was just amazing. Thank you for capturing everything on camera a sharing it with us. I've never been much of a begonia person, but those two varieties were very interesting, perhaps some more research is in order and maybe I can add them to my garden.

Toni - Signature Gardens said...

Hi Karen,
Wow, what a lovely garden! We just pulled back into Texas today. When we left WI yesterday morning it was 53 degrees, and when we pulled into our drive this afternoon it was 102. Ugh! I could cry looking at these pictures and remembering your beautiful garden and the gorgeous weather we had, only to come back to this heat. Maybe by October we'll have some tolerable temps. Thanks for sharing these garden walk pics -- wish I could have been there. And thanks again for letting me and my family visit -- we thoroughly enjoyed your garden and meeting you!!!! Just amazingly beautiful.

Randy Emmitt said...


If I had people coming to our garden I would make my special lemonade. Carl did a great job photographing you in the garden, you are a size 8 right? The gazebo is the bomb, loved it.

africanaussie said...

so many cool ideas - thanks so much for taking us along.... I am always jealous of water features, but just dont have the room... I love that frame with the dried flowers and the fence. It looks as though we will be seeing some posts of you building your stone thingy.....

Darla said...

Love all of this!! Adore the framed dried flowers and will be borrowing that idea. The begonias look like Angel Wing and Dragon Wing I believe, can't remember which one has the spots...

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden said...

Hi Karen, I always find garden tours so inspiring. I loved some of the water features here and the dried flower artwork with the fence. The flower whose ID you questioned looks like an anemone to me. They are great for late season color. I have always wanted one.

Tufa Girl said...

I feel 20 degrees (wait I should say 30 degrees) cooler when viewing your blog. My favorite photo is the walk lined with tall ferns, something I might be able to copy for the loft garden - next year perhaps. Lovely photos, as usual.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Wow, you guys have great garden tours. I do think plants grow better in Wisconsin just based on my place up there where I have a small neglected garden.

Karen, that is Anemone Robitissima and the begonias are either the angel wings or rex varieties, many news ones coming out for the garden.


joey said...

Stunning tour! Let's wrap arms around the remains of summmer :)

My garden haven said...

Again, another fun post to read. Thanks for sharing that garden walk with us. And thanks for visiting my latest post.

Zoey said...

Another great garden tour -- I loved the gazebo and the hosta paths with the inviting bench.

I love walking around the garden with a glass of white wine. It's amazing how it all looks so much better after the second glass! :)