Summer is packed with so many fun activities that it is sometimes a challenge to find the time to keep up with the ornamental garden, harvest the edibles and keep the blog fresh. However, that said, I attended another fun activity last Sunday that took me out of my own garden (again) but gave me ‘a look’ into some others that were extraordinary!
The Idaho Botanical Garden (IBG) presents the Garden Tour in Boise and the surrounding area each June. It is a one day event where multiple private residential gardens are open to the public for touring. The gardenkeepers (homeowners) are present during the tour and you can visit with them about their garden and gardening experiences. A rather enjoyable opportunity I must say!
This year there were nine gardens in the Garden Tour and I visited seven of them. I am quite sure the two gardens I did not make it to were as lovely as the others but I simply ran out of time and was not able to make it to them. I apologize to the two gardens I missed and hopefully will see them some time in the future.
As for the gardens visited, here is a look at the first four I visited (Part 1). Of course, I did by no means capture all of the amazing features and personality of these gardens but have selected some photos that I believe show a bit of their stand-out character and charm.
Garden 1 – Gorgeous Trees Galore! I was so impressed by how many beautiful specimen trees and conifers were so happily inhabiting this garden. I wish I would have captured more photos of the amazing trees but I guess I was overwhelmed and not thinking clearly about a blog post! Anyway, I did get a photo of Cedrus Deodara ‘Snow Sprite’ that was a gorgeous stand-out specimen in this garden. All of the trees of this garden were presented in a most pleasing way with complimentary structural elements and clean form making it very easy on the eye and issuing an aura of relaxation. The water features were also beautiful compelling one to just breathe in and breathe out and enjoy!
Garden 2 – Edible Oasis. The efficient use of space was most impressive in this truly urban garden. It struck me that this garden put into practice many of the “hot” garden topics/trends of recent years. The front and side yard has been turned into an edible garden (maximizing purpose and space) and the backyard continues this theme via pots of edibles surrounding an amazing water feature for the gardenkeepers to relax around. And relax they can because almost all of the plants surrounding the stream and pond are natives or drought tolerant. This is good for attracting birds and great for gardenkeepers because less watering and maintenance means more time to watch the fish swim and hear the birds songs while enjoying a pear or tomato from the front yarden!
Garden 3 – A Staycation Garden! This is the type of space you dream of when you hear the phrase, “enjoy a staycation.” Most people don’t picture their average everyday setting when they consider a staycation. Instead they imagine a relaxing environment with well-established trees for shady afternoons of reading and playing cards, lush grounds for strolling barefoot to clear the mind or to play a little badminton. And maybe a gorgeous view for watching the sunset. Well, this garden offers all of that and more including a pool surrounded by pretty perennial plantings, fruit trees, water features and a vegetable garden. These features are dotted along the garden in a way that just begs visitors to explore and see what else may be found. A luxurious garden with just the right blend of comfort and interest to engage all the senses.
Garden 4 – Serenity Now. This garden was not only beautifully inviting but also unique amongst the generally speaking semi-arid landscape of the Intermountain West. It offers the serenity of a woodland garden with an interesting, lively understory. Large well established trees that can take the hot Idaho sun are the top-level foundation. They provide a canopy for a wonderful ‘foresty’ undersetting of smaller trees and shrubs. Japanese maples are one of the star elements of this garden both in pots and in ground. However, I spotted some hydrangeas that were giving the maples a run for their money as far as being the “stars of the day!”
That’s it for Part I. Check back in a few days to see three more inspirational gardens. Feel free to leave a question or comment as some of the gardenkeepers may be checking in and can provide comment as well.
Do you enjoy attending local garden tours? Has your garden ever been featured in a tour? If so, what was it like getting ready for the tour? If not, do you have any aspirations of participating in a tour someday?