Oh, la, la, what a fun day it was! The 27th annual Boise Garden Tour debuted 7 fabulous gardens this past weekend. This event presented by the Idaho Botanical Garden is composed of private residential gardens that open for a day of public touring. The gardenkeepers (homeowners) are present and you can visit with them about their garden. A special treat this year was having the infamous Ciscoe Morris join the Boise tour, giving folks the opportunity to start a bit of garden speak with him or just enjoy the excitement he brings to the garden.
As for the gardens, they are a wonderful collection of artistry showing so many botanical possibilities (even in a semi-arid climate) whether if be purely for soul food, real food or even if a practical bent (fire safety) is the primary goal.
Here is a look at the first two paradises I visited (Part 1). Of course, by no means was I able to capture all of the amazing features and personality of these gardens but I have selected a few photos of each that I believe show a bit of their stand-out character and charm. By the way, the garden names are self-titled, based on my impressions. 🙂
Garden 1 – ‘Garden in Art’ – I immediately fell in love with this garden’s easy-going style that included interesting detail at every angle. The plants in this garden looked so amazingly happy and healthy, they seem to have that extra brilliant shade of green or bloom power that shows serious botanical happiness.
From the get-go you are attracted to the creativity of this garden. Interesting artifacts are combined with plants in a most refreshing way, refined and pleasing to the eye.
After taking in the healthy front, a pretty stone path leads to the backyard but on the way you notice gorgeous redwood/cedar raised planters for edibles, lots of smart storage with cute details, and a lovely shade garden underneath three beautifully cultivated ornamental plum trees.
The backyard features a quaint, beautiful outdoor kitchen area with bold color. The color and structural design elements carry over to the back porch pergola. And again, gorgeous plants make their presence known. A real ‘shout out’ to the gardener for labeling all of the plants in the garden. Very helpful indeed!
I must mention the interesting bird feeders which don’t look like they receive high action in this photo but when I walked into the area there were about 12 little birds at them! Note to self, birds love this style of feeder and the look is pretty cool too!
My favorite surprise in this garden was the element of colored glass. I seriously have never liked blue bottles in the garden until this day and I even told the gardenkeeper! But these bottles, used in this way, I love them!
Garden 2 – ‘Loving Life Amongst The Giants’ – Mature trees are the essence of a garden in my opinion and this garden is the type you dream of, if living in a newly developed area where the tallest tree is 10′ tall! Needless to say, the giant trees in this garden are a standout as they create such a wonderful aura for the diverse understory.
The front courtyard, situated under a gorgeous ‘giant’ provides a quiet spot with refreshing color and is well-suited to the modern lines of the home. The shades of blue and green and the various textures draw people in for a rest in a cool spot.
But the story expands when entering the back garden. The ‘giants’ are here blessing the garden with presence and grace but now the understory comes alive. For me, the wonderfully designed plots of edibles terraced with local stone to accommodate the slope of the landscape are fabulous.
The edible areas are exposed to full sun so who but a great designer thinks of carrying the cool, refreshing, blues and purples along with a bit of water to the warmest spot in the garden. A little ‘shout out’ to the gardenkeeper and Madeline George Design Nursery for thinking of these great design elements.
And as you may notice Ciscoe was excited about this area too! But with this type of open view, it would be hard for anyone to leave the veggie garden!
Yet with so many delicious seating areas to rest and relax and even play (a cute little garden playhouse is tucked into a spot) one must not spend all of their time toiling in the soil.
In fact, with SO many wonderfully different areas to enjoy in this garden, it’s a good thing the sun doesn’t go down until late (9 to 10 p.m.) in the summer!
Check back in a few days to have a look at a few more gardens featured on the tour. Happy Summer and happy gardening!