Monday, June 23, 2008

Garden Walk-2008!

A Garden Walk is a most enjoyable way to spend a sunny summer day. And the walk is even better spent in the company of my life-long best friend who shares the passion for gardening. Rose and I have been excited about this walk for weeks and it did not disappoint. The Walk was sponsored by University of Illinois Extension-Champaign County Master Gardeners. There were 8 gardens on the walk, 6 of which we saw. 2 of them were more or less public gardens and we figured we could see them another time.

At this one we were greeted by lovely vignettes, like this one, placed around the garden and patio. Others had live music-very soothing sounds of a harp and a cello.

We saw some well known flowers such as this climbing rose.

Vining Black-eyed Susan.

Some we didn't know and weren't tagged.

This lupine was absolutely a prefect specimen!

An Oak leaf Hydrangea, which had blooms over a foot long.

These lilies are a little washed out looking due to the bright sun, but were such an unusual pale lemon color with rich brown freckles in the center.

We had no clue what this plant was. It looks a little like saliva but was more of a bush in form and was close to 5 feet tall.

Several people were taking pictures of this plant. It was sitting on top of a raised area but was still a big plant-no one seemed to know it's name.

A butterfly plant in full bloom. I know how hard these are to get started in your garden.

I just love this one. It is about a foot tall, by about that wide. Touching it's leaves and down in the center, it feels as soft as a newborn baby's blanket. It is called 'Hobbit's Foot'. and is a type of saliva.

This tree at the corner of a pergola caught my eye as I have a cousin who is growing one. Hers is not near this size yet-but have hope T. it will get there. This is a 'Staghorn' Sumac.

What could have been an unattractive garage wall was turned into a focal point with the addition of decorative birdhouses and hanging containers of plants.

I have always wanted a rock wall to stick small vining plants in!

Containers abounded in almost all of the gardens. Some were planted and some were used by themselves as focal points. I found that these pots of Caladium bulbs stuck in the shaded ground cover broke up the long expanse of green and provided subtle color for the eye to enjoy.

This low to the ground container was planted with miniature sedums and stood all by itself on the mulch. Sometimes less is better.

And then there were water features!

From gardens that extended into a lake...

where I finally was able to get a picture of one of the zillions of dragonflies,

to this simple, but wonderfully calming, water jar that set off perfectly this small area of plants.

This one pond was in a tiny back yard, but was beautifully landscaped and seem quite the peaceful retreat. There is a hippo in the center.

And they had beautiful water lilies.

A waterfall graced the entry way of this house. But as Rose said there was no place for them to sit and enjoy it's beauty.

Lisa, this is for you! When I saw this chartreuse door, I knew I had to show it. Talk about adding a focal point in an otherwise neutral area. For those of you who don't know, Lisa has a purple garden shed. I think she could paint her doors and windows this color to show case her shed even more.

I would like to acknowledge thanks to all who opened their gardens to us, and to the wonderful people who did so much to help put this show together. It was well appreciated. Now I have a severe case of garden envy! But, back in my world of weeds, needing-mulch, struggling garden, I am satisfied with what I have accomplished. And though mine will never look like the ones we visited, it is my garden and I love it!


Cheryl said...

Thank you Beckie....I had such a wonderful time...all the lovely plants and features, how wonderful.

I think the tall purple plant might be purple loosestrife....I have it all over my garden but it is not in bloom yet.
I also have that silver plant with the tiny purple flowers but I don't know its name either.

I loved that post..... I wish I could have been with you both though....I would walk behind, I wouldn't get in the way....honest.

Rose said...

Beckie, You took so many wonderful photos! I think I was oohing and aahing over the plants too much; I don't have nearly as many photos. I hope to get a post up later tonight or maybe tomorrow AM at latest.
Where did you see that butterfly weed? I missed it!
Like you, I have garden envy, but having spent two hours outside mulching and trimming, I don't know if I could handle those large gardens. So I'll stick with what I have.
Such an enjoyable day! Glad we could spend it together.

beckie said...

Cheryl, you would have been most welcome to come along! Rose and I think of you as a dear friend and often talk about you when we are together(all good things, I swear!) It was a really nice day for it having rained early that morning and cooled off a little. I'll look up the loosestrife and see. I really like it. Most places had names on a lot of their plants, but every so often there wasn't. I wondered if it was because they didn't know or maybe the plant was so common they didn't think it needed identifying. They don't know me very well! Have a great week!

Rose, I had to try out my granddaughter's camera! I forgot to mention that in my post. The butterfly plant was at the garden on the lake just as you turned from the dock going back up here was a raised bed with it in it. I guess I noticed because I started some from seed this year after killing 2 purchased ones last year. Mine are growing but are only about 6" tall, so I doubt I get blooms this year.

I know I couldn't keep up with any of those gardens. But it sure was nice to get to visit and maybe see a small idea or two we could use.

Thanks for the wonderful day! I am looking forward to more 'day' trips with you.

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Beckie. Looks like a really nice garden walk. I love that wall of birdhouses!

I went on a garden club walk a week ago. It was kind of a dud. Not much blooming except a few roses. They did have some garden art I liked. I always like to get ideas from other peoples gardens. Everyone is so much more imaginative than me.

Amy said...

Such wonderful photos and inspiration. I love the wall covered in birdhouses, and the chartreuse door :) Your unidentified plant with the silvery foliage is probably lambs ears in bloom.

Mary said...

It's your garden and you love it! AMEN! I have weeds, dead and thirsty plants, and I can only do my best.

I'm always drawn to the water features and they are gorgeous, Beckie. The birdhouse wall and the chartreuse door are my favorites :o)

beckie said...

Marnie, I'm sorry your walk was not great. We certainly had much to see on ours. As for creative...I'm am sure you are very creative. We sometimes don't think our ideas are, but others marvel at what we do. Hope you get to see some great gardens this summer-including yours!

Amy, I loved that door, but would never be brave enough to do something like it. I, too, thought the wall of birdhouses was a good idea. It broke up that long blank space and did it with out much effort-just an artist's eye for it. So glad you are doing better. Just be patient!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Wow Beckie, you and Rose got to see some awesome gardens. I just love the little snippets that you have shown us. Thanks for the link too. I love that chartruese door.

Perennial Gardener said...

What a lovely walk. The small purple flowers are Veronica. The silver foliage with purple flowers are lambs ear. I don't know what the name is of the tall plant that had spiky flowers. I loved the water vase and all the pretty flowers.

Stephanie said...

i love the bird houses the the green door

Mr. McGregor's Daughter said...

Aren't garden walks just too fun? I think that tall plant with the spiky flowers is a native, but its name eludes me at the moment. The purple-flowered Loostrife is Lythrum salicaria, a noxious weed that invades marshes & wetlands, crowding out the native plants. I love all the waterlilies. Makes me long for my own pond.

Beth said...

oh Beckie! Thank you for sharing that, I feel like I was right there--such pretty gardens. The pictures were excellent--if only they were scratch and sniff!

beckie said...

Mary, that's right-our gardens, take 'em. or leave 'em! So no rain yet:( I know that door just wowed me. I always enjoy seeing pictures of your pond. It looks so peaceful abs calming. The different water features were fun.

Lisa, you are welcome. I thought of you the moment I saw that door and told Rose I had to take a picture for you.

PG, Thanks for the info. I thought that one must be related any way to Lamb's ear. The water jar was very unique and I loved the color of it.

beckie said...

Stephanie, thanks for stopping by. I was impressed that someone would be brave enough to paint their shed door that color. But why not! It's theirs and they are free to express themselves anyway that makes them happy.

MMD, a weed! but it was so pretty...will it behave in my garden?:) I know-I would love a pond and we have room, but hubby thinks not. I might have to rent a backhoe and do it myself!

Beth, glad you are back! The walk was a lot of fun. You should invent a scratch and sniff computer! Thanks for dropping by.

Mountain Mama said...

That is a lovely Garden Walk. I love flowers dearly so each one you showed is special! The water Lily's are spectacular.

Last summer I did two Garden Tours with my daughters. We saw some gorgeous gardens and like you, we all got gardening fever, big time!

We even went to the Tulip festival at LaConner, WA, which is just south of where I live. That's a sight to behold!!

I have added you to my links. Hope it's ok.
Have a great rest of the week.

Aiyana said...

Great tour! I think the fourth photo is lamb's ear. Garden tours are my favorite spring activity, and I like looking at the containers and yard art as much as the plants. The last garden tour I tried was a walking tour in Jerome, AZ. It about did me in, there were so many steps to climb to see the gardens. Never again on that one!

Laurie & Chris said...

Mom and I go on a secret garden tour every summer it is so much fun to visit other peoples gardens.You took some great pictures. Thank you for stopping by our blog. We love taken pictures and dragonflies are fun to take pictures of. We have more photos of dragonflies on our blog if you come to it and put dragon fly in the serch all the pictures should pop up.

beckie said...

Mountain Mama, of course that's fine. The garden walks are such fun especially if you have some one to share them with. Tulip Festival-oohhh, I'll bet that was glorious!

Aiyana, looking at the containers and garden ornaments was a lot of fun. It's surprising to see the tastes of others. I don't think I'd like a walking tour-and with steps, no thanks.

Laurie and Chris, I enjoyed your blog and will be visiting again. I am still learning on the camera-in fact that was my granddaughter's new camera that she let me borrow. Mine isn't that great. Will be over to see more Dragonflies. How on earth do you get them to pose?!:)

中島 彰信 said...

The water of your pond looks very clean.How is the water of the pond kept beautiful?

Sandi said...

I found your post while searching for decorative birdhouses. Thank you so much for the 'tour'. I loved all the photos - I could almost feel like I was there with you.
Sandi from Sandi's T's

Cathy said...

Aren't garden tours the greatest. Thanks for sharing the pictures. I went on a tour last weekend. Maybe I'll post my pictures.

tina said...

Well said and my sentiments exactly! I recently opened my garden to our county master gardeners-bowling balls and all. It was rewarding for me and I hope like you, the people who visited understand that tours can be hard on the gardener-way more than the garden! Because no matter what, the garden is 'what the garden is'.

You and Rose live near each other? How cool is that? I like knowing my neighboring bloggers here in Tennessee, but none of us are closer than one hour away.