Monday, May 10, 2010

Gardens For Connoisseurs Tour 2010

Every year Steve and I go on the Atlanta Botanical Gardens' Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour.
We always come away with a million ideas.  This is where we saw what we still call the "Dream House" that inspired our pool. This is a very costly Mothers' Day tradition.

This year was no exception.  We are again inspired and will probably have to take our a second mortgage as a result.

We are always careful NOT to follow the order suggested in the brochure.  We like to pick out specific gardens based on the description and locations--we avoid certain types until the end of the day-- if we have extra time then we squeeze them in.

NOW on to the Gardens:

Our first stop was Garden #7  located in Decatur on Willivee Dr.

This home is a very common brick ranch--the kind you see all over the country.  It was probably built in the late 1950s or 1960s.

The owners have turned the large yard into a wonderful garden.  Here's the big bed in the front yard.

...A close-up of the urn.

We were some of the first people there a 10am.  The morning light was super.

The house next door was not invited to participate in the tour. 
This very tall privacy fence hides the "scenery."  Good idea #1 for intown living.  The fence is a lot taller than it looks in this photo.

As good as this house looks from the front, the back was better--it just knocked my socks off.
This stone terrace is about 30 feet deep and I don't know how wide.

There are lovely stone steps leading from the French doors.
This was one of my favorite gardens.

Our next stop was on Morningside Drive.  I watched this garden being built.  Big trucks filled with plants would pull up to the curb.  My curiosity was killing me. 

The garden started at the curb--as it should.

Here's how a crepe myrtle should look.

The house sits up on the hill overlooking the street and a church across the street.
It's a bungalow with a big front porch... my very favorite.

In this front yard is a wonderful koi pond.

The home ower is also the garden designer.  I spoke with him briefly--he's a real nice guy.

He does a mean pot.

check out his window box.  Good idea #2 --What a good way to hide a bad view.

The next house was in Midtown.
The front was traditional, the back was contemporary.
The pool took up the whole backyard-

...not a problem in my book.

We exited this garden through the rear.
Really cool--
and walked down the alley to the next house.

This garden was designed by David Ellis--he's well known and is published in magazines.
Notice how you always look down the bed.  Plantings look better from this angle since any spaces are hidden.  The bed looks full, fading flowers don't show up so much.

Here's looking up the other way.

"Tour-ists" always try to sneak a peek.

The front of this house surprised me--remember, we entered through the back and came out the front.

It was a long day.
We're only half way through.

Come back tomorrow for more.