It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

 

Coming this weekend, to a garden near me, is one of my most favorite events of the entire year.  I look forward to it all Spring.  Our local county Master Gardener’s group hosts a tour of private gardens of their members.  Every other year the tour alternates in general location.  On year “A” the gardens are all located on the east side of the county then on year “B” the gardens for viewing are all located on the west side of the county.  Usually there are four to five gardens on the tour.  It’s a great plan, since we have such a large county – geographically.  

To me the garden tour is almost like peeking into a wonderland.  One of my favorite stories as a little girl was The Secret Garden, and since I first read that book I’ve been fascinated by gardens.  Green thumb I certainly am not, but oh how I try.  Since I have tried, and many times failed, I sure do appreciate a pretty garden.   I always come away from the day, much to my sweetie’s dismay, with a million ideas.  They generally show some especially great containers, as well as ideas for statuary too.  Each host garden usually provides a map of their garden with details on each and every plant in their yard…Awesome, I know!!  Wait, it gets better, within each garden the plants are all individually labeled – usually by both their common name and botanical name.  Another great feature of this tour is that within each garden there are picturesque vignettes, great garden ‘rooms’, and unique specimen plants to get your creative sparks a-flyin’.  By the time you get home you are ready to DIG IN THE DIRT, and make some pretties! 

 

The Master Gardener’s group tries to mix up the styles of gardens on the tour each year.  There are some formal, some wilderness/ woodland types, shade, and sun gardens too.  My favorites have a smattering of all the different types combined into one.  I’m especially drawn to the gardens with water features.  I really do LOVE a good Koi pond and waterfall!  The tour also usually includes a fabulous plant sale.  At the sale you can always find native plants and usually a few really unique things too, at very fair prices. 

Unfortunately, the weather in our area is supposed to be crummy this weekend…so pray for sunshine (at least in the morning).  It can rain, rain, rain in the afternoon. 

Sit back, and grab a glass of sweet tea.  Below are some of my favorite pictures from past Master Gardener’s Tours.  Enjoy! 

Sorry the photos above are so tiny.  If you click on them individually you can see them larger.  Here are the pictures in a slideshow format:

 Master Gardener’s Tour

You can’t imagine how proud of myself I am for figuring out how to do this.  Yes, I know there is no music, and the pictures start out uber grainy before they clear up…baby steps, baby steps.  To me it’s miraculous, they even made it here!

Hopefully the weather will hold out for another great tour this year.  I’ll be sure to post pics of the newest treasures. 

Do you have a formal garden that is a ‘gotta’ see- can’t miss it?  My favorite formal gardens, so far, are:  Butchart Gardens in Victoria, B.C. (http://www.butchartgardens.com/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1) and the Keukenhof Gardens (http://www.keukenhof.nl/) in Holland.  Both of these are sublime – Really!!!!   If you are ever in either of these two spots in the early spring you HAVE to go see them…Ahh-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! 

Is there a local Garden Tour in your area?  I’d love to hear about it.