Iíve seen my share of spectacular gardens and always come away with new ideas and inspiration. Itís part of the fun to imagine how one might incorporate a unique type of path or a water feature into your own garden. Maybe a particularly breathtaking plant combination would look just right next to your patio. Itís even better when the beautiful gardens are in your own neck of the woods. What could be better than to see what fellow gardeners have created nearby?
Recently I was able to preview several local gardens that will be featured on the Enchanting Gardens in the Valley garden tour on Saturday, June 24th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. As a fundraiser benefit for nonprofit Valley Churches United there are seven beautiful, unique and inspiring gardens in Felton and Ben Lomond that shouldnít be missed.
Dappled by the morning sun the pond and waterfall in the first garden I visited was even more enchanting after the owner, told us an interesting story. Seems that one spring she looked out her office window and saw a live blue heron strutting and displaying, trying to get the attention of the metal heron sculpture. ďHe was really doing his thingĒ, she laughed. The pond is surrounded by grass-like plants like lomandra and carex that provide movement in the wind while the upper bed where the waterfall originates features flowers of bright orange, red and magenta along with the blue foliage of a weeping Atlas cedar and blue oat grass.
Other highlights in this garden include raised veggie beds, a rose and cutting garden and a special fire hydrant garden for the dog. Youíll just have to see it for yourself.
Several gardens on the tour allow visitors to walk through the main living and kitchen areas. Itís a treat to see how the outside reflects the interior design from a gardenerís perspective. Under massive native oaks one such garden will keep you exploring for hours. With red as the primary color accent along with touches of yellow and blue every nook and cranny has been tastefully decorated with hand made glass collectables. An antique babyís bed has been converted to a planter, a vintage stove overflows with ferns, ivy and begonias. The English cottage look is complete with mature boxwood hedges and a large white pergola with wicker furniture. There are sitting areas at every turn throughout the garden, however, the owner confesses she sits for about 15 minutes before the urge hits her to trim or re-arrange something. Sound familiar?
Another garden on the tour features a Newport Fairy rose as big as a van. A rainwater catchment system designed by the owner/engineer waters his orchid greenhouse with pure rain water. The rhododendrons in this garden are 20 years old and all the hydrangeas are from cuttings his wife has propagated. There are many great tips and ideas to take away from this garden.
A study in sustainability and permaculture, one of the gardens is a mega food source for the ownerís family. From grapes to vegetables to recycled wood arbor and decks with fancy railings, this garden is a certified wildlife habitat and pollination garden for bees and beneficial insects. Using organic practices and water conservation techniques itís brimming with life.
If your space is small, youíll want to visit a garden nearby, Designed by a landscape architect and her creative husband the garden rooms surrounding the compact home feature a koi pond, meditation garden, galvanized water tank with wall fountain, outdoor dining table re-purposed from old deck and vegetable garden. The outdoor experience connects to the interior with large open doors at both the front and the back.
So whatever type of garden appeals to you thereís sure to be one to please at the Enchanting Gardens in the Valley garden tour. Tickets are available at Mountain Feed and Farm Supply, several other local nurseries and from Valley Churches United office in Ben Lomond. Contact them at 831-336-8258 for more information.