Monday, July 9, 2007

Garden Exploration Tour 2007

Well, this is our local 2007 garden tour. It was called "Garden Exploration," but I called it "Garden Exploitation." For the last several years the annual tour was sponsored by a local garden club whose members put their hearts and souls into it. One of their purposes used to be to inspire the "ordinary" gardener by demonstrating what could be done by individual homeowners. NOT so this one. This year it was sponsored by The Colorado Federation of Garden Clubs and the American Society of Landscape Architects. Yes, the landscapes and gardens were spectacular and showy. Of course they were, because they were professionally designed and maintained. I really didn't need to be reminded of what my garden and home limits are, but I did enjoy drooling for a while. Here's what I don't understand: Where do all these people work and how do all these people have soooo much money? This town doesn't seem big enough to hold that many millionaires and mansions. It was area, after area, after area of large estates and homes. I missed the friendly feeling of the previous tours. Oh... and you had to be a billy goat in order to traverse most of the terrain. With only one exception they were all hanging on the edge of a hill. Each one trying to be taller than the other. Anyway, here are some photos of a few of the landscapes. Don your oxygen masks and come along.
My Favorite

I loved her theme of cobalt blue in so many of the "rooms." She even had a cobalt blue hose and sprinkler head!! Talk about hose envy!

By far, this was the most delightful, cheerful and "lived in" landscape. The owner greeted us, and her enthusiasm and love of her gardens was very much in evidence. I could have stayed here forever and savored every nook and cranny. It was great to see a garden with so much of the owner's input and personality.
My Second Favorite

Beautiful stonework, paths, fountains, water falls, what more could you ask for? Except the $$ to own something like this. My favorite feature here was the wonderful use of Pikes Peak Purple Penstemon used throughout the landscape. I thought this gave a nice continuity to the gardens.
Zen Retreat

Finally... a level site to rest my poor knees. This garden is close to the Broadmoor Hotel and features a Zen retreat.
1927 Spanish Mansion

These are not real animals, but rather a beautiful sculpture. I believe they are panthers. The other view shows them in the background of the swimming pool area.

This "wine bottle tree" was an hit with everyone. Every garden room had a different color palette, yet the entire landscape was very Tuscan-inspired. Containers and colors were rich and textural and used in stunning combinations. Of course, the gardener was there to answer questions.
This 1927 Spanish Colonial gave me a "Great Gatsby" feeling. It went on forever on a bluff (what else) with sweeping views. Lots of beautiful sculpture and garden art.
Back Patioscape

Here is where the tour began. Another vertigo-inducing site. The area that appealed the most to me was this tiered back patio. The wall increases seating without taking up floor space, and the planting bed is supposed to be safe from deer. I wonder? I did like the gas "campfire" to the left because it was made to look like a natural part of the landscape.

This is the neighbor of the first home/garden on the tour. It was getting more attention than the tour home, and you can see why.
All in all, I appreciate very much what I have and the gardens that I have created. These would all be too much for me!!


Connie said...

Thanks for sharing the tours. I like the first garden the best, too!
A cobalt blue hose...wherever did she find that? I have thought about spray painting mine to camoflauge it a bit, as I use it too much to be putting it away each time.

Bev said...

Connie, I wish I'd thought to ask where she got it. I've done an internet search but can't come up with one. I'll keep searching and let you know if I run on to one.

Beth said...

Wow! What inspiring photos. Thanks for taking us along on the tour with you.

P.S. I've tagged you for the "Seven Random Things About Me" meme. Hope you don't mind!

Beth at Morning Glories

Ziggywigs said...

Wow! I just love that outdoor's fantastic...just wish the uk weather was more predicatable. Great pics.

LostRoses said...

I found a "blueberry" colored hose at It's pretty cool. What interesting gardens, Bev, but I agree that the thrill isn't really there when you know professionals did it for big bucks. Not quite the same as our attempts, are they?

I love the stucco house that wasn't on the tour and was getting all the attention. Too funny! And the one with the panthers and the pool, good heavens! I'm sure they elicit all the oohs and aaahs the owner paid dearly to hear! Thanks for taking us on the tour.

Gotta Garden said...

What a tour! I adore all the blue! I wish! Well, sometimes it's inspiring to see how the other half lives...if only to come home and be thankful for what you have. There really is no place like home.

Sometimes, I think there should be a rule on garden, if you don't actually garden, then "your" garden is disqualified...or maybe you have to have the gardener who does take care of it there!

We have an annual Garden Week here in VA that is a very big deal. I've not enjoyed it in the past because it is mainly about homes, not gardens...sponsored by the Garden Clubs, it does benefit real gardens (usually historic),, there's that at least. This year, I went on one with a group and I was thrilled at one of the was just incredible...and done by the owners (who have a garden design business)...I could have stayed there for a long time! (Maybe they heard me??)

Thanks, enjoyed it!

Bev said...

Thanks for all of your comments. I love hearing from you. LostRoses, I found the same entry for the Blueberry hose, but could not come up with a Cobalt. I'll keep looking. It was not a real long hose and was glossy.

Oh, I forgot to mention... I didn't see one vegetable garden! I guess when you have that much money you have your personal chef buy them for you?

Wicked Gardener said...

How fun! That must fulfill all kinds of voyeuristic urges to see how others live!The cobalt garden looked to be by far the most interesting. It seems to require you to slow down and really and pay attention to the little details.

Thanks for sharing these!

Robin's Nesting Place said...

That clematis is beautiful! I like the first garden best too.

guild_rez said...

Thank you for posting the wonderful pictures, I love to see different landscaped interesting a wine bottle tree!!
Now to your comment..
..what I don't understand: Where do all these people work and how do all these people have soooo much money? This town doesn't seem big enough to hold that many millionaires and mansions.
Perhaps the bank extended their line of credit:-))
cheers from Canada and
have a nice weekend..

Anonymous said...

i enjoyed your "garden tour" so much and clicked on the photos to ENLARGE, so beautiful!
do you know how the bottle-trellis-thing is made? I'd like to try to copy that, believe me, i have some wine bottles!
I adore the blue garden and all those lovely pots on the patio. Wow.
Yes, some people have a ton of money and even can afford to hire gardeners to work for them,
ain't we got fun!

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