Friday, June 27, 2014

Idaho Botanical Garden Private Garden Tour: House III

From what I understand, the first house we visited was designed by the owners, one of whom is some sort of designer. It showed, that stone and paving were beautiful. This third house was designed by Madeline George Nursery. Some before photos show a completely blank dirt yard, I don't know if the house went through a remodel or not. While both houses have relatively small yards, they made great use of the space they had. This third house, based on the layout of structures, had some built in nooks and crannies that begged to be made into secluded garden rooms- a concept I am trying to wrap my mind around for our garden.
This garden was designed by Madeline George Nursery here in Eagle. This was the most involved thought out garden we toured.  The garden was expertly designed to draw you and and then surprise you. The front plantings really balance with the size of the house. So many foundation plantings are too narrow.
As you walk to the garden gate a lush and varied garden keeps your interest.
The stark sunlight really did this photo little justice. Upon entering the gate, a cool little entry welcomes you in. The little fox plaque added a lot of visual interest while remaining understated.
Then you get pulled further back by the weeping evergreen.
To find a pretty little seating area with a fire pit. The rock landscaping gave it the feel of a mountain forest campsite. I have a feeling they'll end us adding some more comfortable seating to this area for more use.
You definitely never felt like you were in a standard rectangle fenced in yard. This garden also felt very private. The first thing I noticed when I was processing my photos was that there were power lines overhead the back of the garden. I never noticed them when we were there. We have the same eyesore along the side of ours. The taller trees break up the lines and make them less noticeable. The art of "deception" comes in handy in gardening I'm learning.
I really liked the dining area.
The trickle of the water feature compels one to admire the greenery behind it from the dining area.
Another nook hides a private hot tub spot. The bamboo made it feel like there wasn't a fence there. The original plan for the garden was in the entryway and it showed a mirror on the fence behind the bamboo to give the feel of more depth. Now that is down-right sneaky. I love it. I went back and checked behind the bamboo-no mirror. More than one change and omission occurred during the construction of the garden, so some things were either put off due to budget, or all-together abandoned. 
I really liked this trellis on the outside of the fence. I love organic design. This garden was pretty amazing and I learned a few tricks. My garden will have more flowers. I like my flowers, especially unusual ones. I really want one of these plants somewhere in our garden.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Idaho Botanical Garden Private Garden Tour: Part Two

 The next house had a lot more of a cottage type garden. It was very homey and colorful.
Wrapping around from the from to the backyard. They had all sorts of specimen trees along the house.
 The poppy seed heads left in place added a lot of interest.
 The patio was a lot cooler. One thing I've learned though is that the narrow slats aren't fun for people prone to migraines or vertigo, we won't be having one like this. Our pergola has a sun shade for until whatever we plant on it matures.
 The extra pot garden.
 There is a potting studio in the garage.
The three tiered watering can fountain was a hit. Like I wrote earlier, this garden was much more lived in feeling. I failed to get a photo of the grand-kids play area, shows you how into kids I am.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Early Summer Garden Update

 The bicycle planter is filling out
The tomato plant on the left is officially over my head. We'll need a ladder to harvest the ones from the top. The tomato "pergolas" are getting set up. We grow single vine tomatoes. Every sucker gets removed to leave only one vine. This style of growing them has worked well for us in the past. 
 Yes, another shot of "Indigo Rose". They are hard as rocks, so no ripe ones yet. Once they get soft I'll give them a gentle twist each day until they gently break off.
 The Japanese Black Trifele plants look like they are going to produce tons. These were listed as determinate, so we are growing two vines on each plant.
This is Red Zebra, you can already see the stripes.
These are the Green Zebra's.

Idaho Botanical Garden 2014 Private Garden Tour: Part One of 6

Summer is here and it was finally time for Kyle and I to do our first private gardens tour. I've been wanting to go for the past few years and this year we were both anticipating the event. We had no idea what to expect since we've already seen the most amazing private garden in Boise which can be found at the blog Our life in Idaho. So Sunday we set off on a little adventure. Each garden was unique as to be expected and in different stages of establishment. I took tons of photos so I've chosen to present one house at a time. I will be discussing what I learned at each house and what elements appealed to me. Note that these were all shot with a wide angle lens. These photos are meant to be a visually comprehensive of the area as possible.
The entryway to the house is very modern and sett at a 45 degree angle to the lines of the house and lot. So right off the bad, I knew this layout wouldn't work in our 1992 neighborhood. I still really like the look though and it goes well with the very modern remodel the house apparently had, unless it was new construction.
This is continuing past the front entrance to the back of the house. The rock work was very impressive.
More modern looking address numerals will also look nice at our place.
The 45 degree angle motif continued in the back yard garden. They also had some nice modern fencing going on.
Here you can see into the back garden where the style of the home really stands out.
This is the seating area under the balcony on the second floor. The water feature was really cool.
This berry trellis was something we might be able to incorporate into one of our garden ares. It is a living fence. We have a large yard, so wall type options are great for us. While I love the modern style, it won't fit our lifestyle. Kyle and I are pretty eclectic types and our garden will need a bit more of the whimsy element to it. I forgot to get a photo of the saxophone player that was playing in the car port area next to the garage. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Turning Suburbia on to Urban Gardening

Our two new beds aren't very secluded. There is actually a bus stop about 50 feet away near our back yard. We can't gaze upon our veggie garden from any windows in the house. But what I have found is that I interact with the people of the neighborhood a lot more than I typically would. I tend the gardens daily, so there is always someone walking/riding/driving by. A lot of people stop for a small chat. 
 We are in an odd part of town. There are lots of suburban tract homes (like ours) and then a mix of older construction from when the area used to be the real sticks. It is a really nice feel of country (mind you, I'm from Chicago) and not too suburban to urban. We have several horses chickens, farm geese, and a lama that live down the street.  
Anywhoo, I hope the odd nature of some of our tomatoes can strike up some conversations this summer. Yes I'm fascinated with the Indigo Roses. 
The view out back. The vines are still striving to reach new heights. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Garden 2014 Update

Indigo Rose blue tomato. Wow, these are strangely wonderful. 
Yellow Pear, our first year of these as well. 
One of our two huge urn plantings. Inside is a self watering container setup. These have a few more surprises yet to grow. 
Our first echinacea, or cone flower. I love these.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Late Spring

 The view from the patio is pretty nice right now. One day we'll have proper patio furniture.
 This year I grew 10 different tomatoes. This is Indigo Rose a "blue" tomato. The plant itself is pretty blue and you can see where the sun hits the skin it also turns blue.
 All the plants are flowering now.
The alliums are kaput and I'll cut them down this weekend. The bicycle planter is starting to take off with the summer planting.