Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dream Gardens On Tour: San Diego

          Twenty one.  That's the number of gardens I saw in the San Diego area in the last two weeks! May is a bonanza for garden lovers across the country because it is usually the month that garden clubs host walks and tours of local homeowners' gardens.  Not only do I get ideas, I get to dream, and a big fix of plants, flowers and garden design. But unlike a public garden, these have the element of  'secret gardens,' tucked behind tall fences and gates. You get a rare peek into how people live.  It's one of my favorite things to do.

     In Coronado on May 14, I saw seven gardens and there was a lot to envy.  These large homes are way out of my price range but a woman can dream.   My favorites here involve a lot of clipped boxwood. This doesn't surprise me.

It is time to add more boxwood to my own garden so I can see it all the time. I love it. I saw several ways to incorporate it.

This treatment around the fountain (below) I especially envied and the flagstone echoing the shape on the ground is a lovely part of the design, with small ground covers filling in between the stones. I want it!

This garden (below) at a mansion near the ocean is said to be inspired by the Alcazar palace garden in Sevilla, Spain and I could definitely see the elements here, including a mosaic tiled fountain, the palms and the colors incorporated into the setting. But, my favorite feature--the small secret garden (in the center of photo) hiding just beyond an open entryway in the back of the
main garden.

 Last week, I walked about two miles and saw 14 gardens on the Mission Hills Garden Walk. This garden walk is always worth the effort. Many of these homes featured yards with dought tolerant plants and no grass lawns.

          My two favorites in this walk were the smallest. The one pictured above was tiny, packed with plants and a small patio and table as the main focus. The owners featured found objects such as coins, keys and a fork and knife displayed in the concrete of the brick patio.  I could easily see myself dining alfresco in this garden often.

I was also in love with this outdoor-room style of garden (above) and it has all the features I love: fireplace, a fountain, a dining area under a pergola covered with grape vines and a beautiful gate. The pruned peach tree (below) offers a great structural feature in addition to fruit.

 I confess that I am surprised I loved the garden that seemingly had the least amount of plants! On the other hand, it's a week later and I still have the urge to go there and surround those two sofas with large pots of flowers and lots of lavender!  After all, it is a garden room... Dream on.