Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Garden Tour

On April 26, I went on a tour of 3 local gardens and I thought it would be great to share the good ideas....

Solar Woodland Garden

 At the first garden, I was most interested in this passive solar house.  It was built in 1986 and is very characteristic of solar houses built at that time--large array of south-facing windows.  I did a field study of passive solar house for my dissertation but it was done before this house was built.  The front yard had lots of sedum and other sun-loving plants.

 Woods surround the back yard where the owners have built woodland paths.  This is a wood poppy and was the main flower blooming.

This lilly (similar to the native trout lilly) was about done but I liked the way it was plant at the base of a tree stump. 

Garden of Surprises

 The front yard of the next garden looked like most of the yards in this older subdivision.   A cute sign on the gate welcomes you to the backyard where there are few surprises.

 The backyard is a man-made stream with meandering paths.

 In the back is a waterfall with a nice bench under a tree.

I took this photo while seated on the bench which would be nice and cool in the summertime heat (or on a day like today where it hit 92 degrees!).

 My favorite part was the shed and the vegetable garden.  The mirrors on the shed help to cut down on all the purple and reflect the beautiful garden.  I like the Gothic metal window frame too.

 On the other side are the raised beds.

You could sit on a stool and work this garden!

 I bet the short bed is for something tall like corn.

I couldn't leave this garden without showing another one of the cute critters made out of stones and metal.

Native Garden
At the last garden I volunteered to answer questions about the native plants which comprise the majority of the vegetation.  This garden had a main feature: huge man-made waterfall and pond which attracts birds, frogs and other critters.

Marsh marigold and yellow pickernel were blooming in the pond.

In the back of this yard, the pawpaw was blooming while the leaves were just starting to grow.

 My favorite part of this yard was the great blue heron sculpture done by a local artist.  The locust tree had the top sheared off by the derecho a couple of years back.  They used the upper part as log pedestal  for plants on the patio.   The sculpture's life can be prolonged with the use of linseed oil.

 Here's a close up.

Hope you enjoyed the garden tour. 


  1. I can't seem to get the highlight off the pawpaw!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks for visiting an commenting. I am glad you enjoyed the tour!

  3. Garden Week (month?) is so interesting, altho the gardens in your neck o'the woods look a lot more interesting than the ones in Richmond. Love the purple shed and the carvings. Always lots of good ideas on tours like this.

    1. webb-yes, the gardens are very interesting to me. I always get some good ideas.

  4. I loved the gardens. I'm always amazed at how different the mountain gardens are in our own community.

    1. Yes, the mountain gardens really reflect the homeowners's tastes and values. The native garden was so peaceful and probably was my favorite although I have to admit I loved the other two almost as much.

  5. oh, i loved those last two gardens. i would have enjoyed meandering around them all day. especially near those ponds. and that blue heron sculpture is stunning. speaking of blue herons... those 8 blue heron nests were near a creek flowing on someone's property i photographed. hope all is well. have a great day~

    1. Yes, the last two had so many ideas. The artist took two weeks to do the sculpture from a sketch. He started with a chainsaw but quickly moved to sculpting tools. He had to change his design since the center was hollow.