The garden walk consisted of 11 houses in 2 of the villages near me. We pulled up at the curb of the conservatory and the little old lady passed us our books with maps and off we went. Garden buddy had the great idea of starting at house number 11 instead of house number 1 to avoid crowds. Great idea, garden buddy! Each garden had a bio in the garden walk guide that seemed to be written by the gardeners themselves. While I drove to each house, garden buddy read the bio so that when we arrived we had the garden's background.
One thing we noticed after the first couple of houses is that, the gardeners who had help from designers started out their bio by describing the look of their garden and what was planted there. In the last paragraph we always found out what designer or landscaper did the work. Contrastingly, the gardeners who did their own work started out their story by telling us how much hard work they had put into their gardens and described their trials and errors, saying much less about the actual plantings. Before I started gardening myself I might have guessed that they described their gardens like this to make apologies for not having "proper gardens" but now that Ive put in all this sweat equity, I realize we gardeners who dig our own beds need for people to know I DID THIS! I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF! AREN'T YOU PROUD OF ME?? I'm not knocking landscape designers. I have said before that if I could afford it, I would hire one myself. But since I did all this myself, I can relate to others like me.
Well, those I-did-it-myself gardens turned out to be our favorites. For me, the gardeners story really reeled me in. Before we even got to the house we had decided "I love this lady and I love her garden!" A few of my favorites were a father-son garden team whose garden began with a son pressuring a father to help him build a pond, then going off to college and leaving the pond for dad to maintain. The garden was beautiful and although we did not get to meet Mr. Gardener, garden buddy decided he was rather romantic because of the iron candle chandelier he placed in one of his outdoor dining areas which seated only two. They called their garden "Shangri La". Here's a picture.
Another favorite was a lady who called herself a "plant collector" rather than a gardener. I loved that she had her big strawberry pot (filled with actual strawberries) on a column so that it stood tall as a centerpiece in one garden even though she knew placing it there meant even easier access for strawberry-loving birds. Take a look.
My I WANT THAT moment came when I spotted this Tamarisk (I think that's what the lady said it was). I think this is the most beautiful thing I've seen in a long time. It's so delicate and feminine and it just screams TOUCH ME....which we did. I'm gettin one of these if I can locate one and find a place for it! One of the volunteers said this was actually suppose to be a shrub but the lady didn't know she was suppose to prune it so I got really big.
Every garden was beautiful and I really admire these gardeners for opening their homes to all these strangers. I bet they have spent the entire summer planning for that one day. I heard one of the gardeners tell someone that she had just had fresh mulch delivered yesterday in an effort to downplay her weedlessness.
It turned out to be a wonderful rainy day. I told garden buddy that, when my house is on the garden walk someday, my bio will say "I did all this myself, with consultation, motivation, and digging help from my garden buddy."