Sunday, June 17, 2012

La Jolla Secret Garden Tour Is More Than Just Pretty Landscapes

The annual La Jolla Secret Garden Tour is a popular event. 

La Jolla is literally "the jewel" of Southern California with ocean front properties and pricey real estate.  The Secret Garden tour, hosted by the La Jolla Historical Society every May, usually guarantees a great tour of some beautiful private escapes--or should I say gardenscapes?  Because this tour is more than just pretty gardens, it's the whole package and it feels more like a big garden party.  The most recent one last month was no exception.

 I found myself drawn to the seating areas, the intimate nooks and crannies where a comfy chair or sofa was thoughtfully planted and made for a great escape from the daily stress. And there were so many to admire. The one above,

just a small corner on this grand terrace,
turned out to be my favorite spot of the day.
And it didn't even have an ocean view,

although there were ocean views at this home and others on the tour.

This French country house, with chaise lounges and a pool in the front yard

 was one of my favorite homes on the tour.
The pool is hidden from the street by hedges of clipped boxwood.

This relaxing spot is at the top of a back yard slope where the property owners

 take advantage of their ocean view.

Don't get me wrong, of course there were lots of lush garden beds
and landscapes to admire on the Secret Garden tour.

There was even a bed planted lushly with herbs.
I guess that would be a bedscape.

Vertical gardening is always popular too.

This wallscape, also at the French country home,
has pyracantha espaliered on a diamond trellis.
It will look like jewelry in autumn when the plant blooms
with bright orange berries.

There were lots of tablescapes.
Designers were on hand to create them in almost
every garden on this tour. After all, this is La Jolla.

Musicians filled each garden with live music

while artists painted vignettes of the gardens on canvas.

This was definitely the jewel of garden tours in the San Diego area.

 But I am a sucker for tablescapes and I love creating them myself.
So even though I went on the tour to see beautiful foliage, blooms and landscapes,

 I feasted on the beautifully set tables.

Tables set for morning coffee on the patio,

and tables set for an elegant dinner in a formal dining room.

While tablescapes aren't always a part of a garden tour, set tables do seem to add the final touch to a well tended garden and they aren't completely unexpected on a tour.

One the other hand, these succulent chairscapes were definitely unexpected!
They took many of us by surprise.

Thoughtfully planted chairs, 
which brings us back to the beginning, sort of--although these are not for sitting on.

Gardens are a just a great escape, on so many levels.

This is GardenEnvy.

Copyright 2012 by jayro. All rights reserved.


  1. Hi Jeannine, what a great garden tour, thanks for featuring it on your blog! Too bad that I missed it! It becomes very clear in your post that lovely seating areas well placed in the garden can contribute so much to its enjoyment. I also love a nicely set table for dining alfresco. Hope we will be doing this a lot this summer :-).

  2. I was blown away by the beautiful gardens when we were in California. The colours were so vibrant.

  3. Wow wow wow!!! These are stunning photos! I'm booking a flight to California right away! :) If I ever host a tour again, I will remember to set up the table on the deck as if I'm entertaining. That adds an extra special touch. Thanks for this post - it was very enjoyable!

  4. Fantastic place, fine views. I am greeting.

  5. This looks like a wonderful tour. I love the pool with the view of the ocean. I want a pool just like that too (especially on a hot day like this!). The tablescapes are inspiring. I like the one with a bit of a french feel especially.

  6. Truly a pleasure to enjoy this tour with you!! Tablescapes and chairscapes...I have never thought of those words and appropriate. Blush..I too love a beautiful set table and the blue glass with the Tuscan/Provence style still my heart.

    My garden club might be interested in linking with the local painting group on next year's tour! Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. I think the art is a great touch on a garden walk!

  8. Thanks to Gardeningbren for linking me with your blog. I enjoyed the tour you presented to me. Great inspiration for planning our next garden tour. I'm hungry for more of your photos.

    1. Welcome! I'm so glad you enjoyed the La Jolla tour!


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