At the first house, the homeowners were so nice and answered tons of questions about all the plants and how they handled certain landscaping obstacles like planting on a hill and keeping the weeds down. Even though their house (and garden) were the newest on the tour, it looked like a mature garden and not like plants plopped down into mulch-which gave me hope for some of my own newer beds. Here is a shot of the landscaping near the pool:
The next house had a kids' dream garden, with two trains running through the yard. It was a house similar to mine-a brick twin with a small yard, which was nice to see especially since our next destination was over 10 acres. They had so many beautiful plants packed into that little in-town yard. Of course, at my house we need to have some grass available for kickball games, but I loved the patches of larkspur and this cool idea made with rebar and old bottles:
Not sure if I can use it at my house because rebar and glass plus about 12 kids average per day may not be the best combination, but it is a clever idea.
Another home on the tour had these:
Which has me dreaming of more construction and a mini-vineyard in my postage stamp backyard. Between the recent fence project and the raised veggie bed we built last week (photos to follow once we have dirt and plants in it) I don't think I'd better push my luck right now with a grape arbor, but it's an idea for the future.
The next house was also amazing, with several buildings, barns, chickens a gorgeous pool and a plant sale that we took full advantage of. There was also this little gem, that I thought was so cute:
Now, I will be keeping my eye out for a cheap birdbath to fill with a little succulent garden.
The final house on the tour was truly amazing-something you just wouldn't expect to find in someone's home garden-a Zen Japanese garden that spanned a huge area on the side of the house. Here are a few photos so you can get an idea what we were walking through:
That was all at someone's home-if you can imagine, not at a sanctuary or arboretum. The house is actually for sale, which is kind of a shame because it's going to take a very special buyer to want to either keep up with this garden or take it out (which would be sad). Besides the obvious creativity and work put into this garden, I was amazed at how they used salvaged wood and branches to build so many gates and benches. It was the little touches and details that made the difference here.
The whole day was so inspiring, and really made me look at my own yard and garden a little differently when we got home-I will have to "tour" my own space this week and see what's going on there.