Garden Tours or Snooping and It’s Okay!

Mother’s Day is my favorite holiday and not just because I’m a Mom. It is when my whole family goes on a local Garden Tour. For those of you that follow me on Twitter, you may have seen that I had gone this past weekend. It’s called the Connoisseurs Garden Tour and proceeds go to the Atlanta Botanical Garden. It has been held every year on Mother’s Day since the early 1980’s. It’s my favorite gardening event of the year and my family treats me like a queen.

My hubby, who is not a gardener, but loves a redheaded gardener (me), acts as chauffeur for the day. This is his brilliant solution to the difficult parking problem. The gardens on the tour are private homes and therefore parking is nonexistent. He selflessly drives us around to each house on the tour, me and the kids jump out of the car and he parks several streets over till we call him on a cell phone to be picked up. It is such a kind, loving thing that he does for me every Mother’s Day. Otherwise, I would walk my legs off just getting to and from our car. If money ever becomes a non-issue in the future, I have promised myself I will hire a driver for the day and give my sweet husband a break.

It is the simple act of snooping behind someone else’s garden fence. Don’t we all want to see what is in our neighbor’s garden? It’s a fun day. You can see so many different styles and sizes of gardens. We saw gardens the size of postage stamps and one garden that was on 5 acres. I took some photos of some great ideas.

This garden had a gravel and stone walkway out to the street. The gardener had planted Bachelor Buttons in between the flagstones. They were the most amazing blue color. I loved it!

Cobblestone path at a garden on the tour Bachelor's Button close-up

This garden had a wonderful sitting area in a corner. I’m a lucky Mom to have such beautiful children (13-year-old Nathan and 5-year-old Jamie). They love going with me and always notice plants or items I would have otherwise missed. I hope they will grow up to be fabulous gardeners!

A lovely sitting area

This gardener had a metal, bathtub water feature. Very different and unusual. It makes you think of other things that could be used the same way.

A bathtub repurposed as a water feature

I am envious of gardeners with Foxgloves! I’ve tried many times to grow them. One day I will make them work in my garden somehow.

Foxgloves

I loved this container planting with Ferns, Caladiums, and Geraniums. Really pretty and full. Shows you what can be done with a simple container. Love the colors, too.

A colorful planter

Look at this incredible Boxwood garden. I love the sculpture in the center. It shows us all that green should be included as a “color” in our garden. And there are so many shades of green. I love topiary like this because the sun and shade on the Boxwood create so much texture.

A boxwood hedge

Another beautiful water feature. My children loved playing with the gardener’s dog. He was garden mascot for the day!

A water feature with the gardener's dog

Here’s me and my son Jamie. It was a wonderful little nook with a bench and dozens of different kinds of groundcovers. The wheel in the middle is a millstone. I loved the urns on either side of us.

A seating nook

Here is a terraced garden with a Tuscan feel. It was unbelievably high. When you get to the top you find their raised beds of vegetables and herbs. Really inspiring and beautiful!

The Tuscan garden

The last garden we visited was mind-blowing. The size was very large – 5 acres and packed full of trees, shrubs, roses, and flowers. It had a mystical feel to it. Like walking through a mirror into another world. From the street to the front of the house is a meandering path through a forest. In a shady glade is a 7 foot tall statue of a buck.

A deer statue

As we moved closer to the front of the house, we heard beautiful music. When we reached the front steps, we looked up to see a young girl playing a harp. Very well, I might add. She was beautiful and magical and like a little fairy princess.

A little fairy princess on her harp

This garden also had a labyrinth made out of privet hedging. I would love to have taken a picture of it but to do so I would have had to climb a tree to get a good shot above it. It was amazing and the children loved it.

This garden had many different fountains and water features. One water feature became awe-inspiring when you reached the top of a hillside and looked down at the tiers of ponds. Only a photo will explain it properly. Amazing!

A water feature with many beautiful pools

I love living in the Atlanta area. We have such an amazing climate to garden in. I am so grateful for this annual garden tour. I can think back to so many wonderful gardens I have seen on many Mother’s Day weekends. Thank you to all the gardeners who opened their garden gates and let me and my children walk through on Sunday.

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