Saturday, March 31, 2012

Real gardens for real people garden tour

This morning I joined this good man for a garden tour. We have traveled twice to California for the annual Encinitas Garden Tour in honor of our wedding anniversary. The first time, we found ourselves in Cardiff by the Sea. Last year we walked a ridge viewing gardens along Crest Drive .

This year we decided to be local and toured gardens in northeast Scottsdale created by master gardeners of Arizona. It was entitled, "Real Gardens for Real People." Northeast Scottsdale neighborhoods strive to honor their desert settings by planting their gardens with native Arizona plants.

The cactus bloom this time of year.

Their blooms are bright and showy.

They may not last long, but are truly glorious.

This beauty bloomed last night, seemingly in honor of the tour.

Plants were labeled and participants were also offered checklists of plants for those interested in obtaining a plant for their garden.

There is beauty in every kind of garden.

I'm sure we are witnessing symmetry and ratios of some kind.

There were many cameras documenting that beauty.

I was happy to see that most of the gardeners were using containers to grow their veggies, just like I do. Don't you love this tub full of lettuce?

Containing vegetables in planters seems to be the way to go.

I love that this gardener called this his "almost green house." It is formed with chicken wire.

It was full to the brim with all kinds of plants.

There were also plants growing up the outside of the "almost green house."

Corrugated tin veggie gardening containers.

Not all cactus blooms are showy. These were dainty and fairy like.

Just a whisper on the larger plant.

There were ponds created for koi. They had provided koi dinners for several coyotes and were now just ponds.

I loved how this gardener painted the wall on the backside of the pool.

It's hard to tell from this picture, but is really brought out the purple tones in the plants.

The saguaro is the true king of the Sonoran Desert.

I liked the gardens which included a few annuals amongst the desert plants.

Ocotillo ribs are a favorite fencing material.

The gardener had erected a fence of made of rebar, much recycled, around part of his property to keep the coyotes out.

A desert landscape can seem almost lush. I loved how the garden tour helpers had matching shirts :)

No, we weren't in Kansas. Glen was a bit chagrined to see these sunflowers. His are only a foot or so high. "Why, they had to plant those in November or something," he huffed. When the home owner introduced himself, Glen inquired and found they were from seeds spread around by a visiting son last November.

This same home owner also had a bit of lawn next to his giant saguaro. We didn't see any other lawn on the tour.

Lisa's home garden had a true artist's flair. There were vignettes throughout her garden such has frogs enjoying a shower under a fountain.

More cacti in bloom.

Full bloom. . .

and a geranium just like mine.

Lisa had plants in all kinds of containers and pots.

Glen decided that there were more pots in Lisa's yard than the over 200 in his.

Form follows function?

Another container veggie garden.

Walls of plants. . .

and salad on walls.

More painted walls. . .

and garden art.

Something to see everywhere one looked.

Glen collects the blue glass.

He was most intrigued by this display method.

I loved the negative edge pool with water flowing and singing over this rock wall.

Another kind of sunflower.

There were unexpected things in the pots.

And a juxtaposition of materials.

More surprises. . .

and groupings of like objects. . .

and small chairs

with pots on walls.

So much to catch the eye.

And a beautiful glass wall to hid the artist's work area.

The horn blower welcomed everyone to the largest home farthest up the mountain.

Driveway art. . .

beautiful doorways with southwest touches. . .

interesting garden art. . .

contained vegetable garden. . .

grand vistas and water features. . .

flowing into the pool.

I love how cactus look in front of. . .

Georgia O'Keefe style walls.

Striking chairs but are they comfortable?

A bird or two.

And Glen exits out the back door.

The last stop, Copper Ridge Elementary School. The kindergarteners were selling lemonade.

I loved their beautiful breezeway garden. There were some of these kind of flowers

and there were some of these kind of flowers

but there were also some of these flowers.

A beautiful, functioning garden space had been created in the breezeway between buildings.

Little classroom gardens had been planted along the curving walkway.

Each having its own personality.

Just like all the home gardens that we had seen.

It was a fun morning and I even traveled home a new way. Glen drove us back through Rio Verde. I learned that the hills are alive with horse ranches and golf courses and retirement villas.

Note: I blame the enormous number of pictures on the fact that I do not know how to count my MB or GB or any kind of bytes. Remember when I had to pay for extra storage to continue posting pictures to my blog? My lack of byte knowledge has allowed me to have almost unlimited bytes. Expect more pictures, many more pictures!