Sunday, July 29, 2018

Anchorage Garden Tour 2018

The last Sunday of July is the Anchorage Garden Club's Garden Tour.  The newspaper used to feature the houses on the tour, but I think they were getting way too many people traipsing through their yards.  So notice is more discrete nowadays.  We've gone on lots of these tours and they are always inspiring - introducing new plants, ideas making gardening easier or more productive.

There have been overwhelming gardens that someone has spent a small fortune on and then there are much more modest ones, with ideas I can imagine duplicating in my own garden.

This year all the gardens fit in the more modest category.  I've decided to put up the pictures by categories rather than by the gardens they were in.  I also got pictures of all but one of the six hosting gardeners.


This garden featured flower beds growing out of bales of hay.  Karen said she just dug out a hole and planted and things did really well.  There was something about adding nitrogen.  She suggested looking online for more details - so here's a link I found.

This gardener used a mail box token her hand tools in.  She also lined her flower beds with beer bottles.

This garden was billed as an example of 'upcycling.'   And there were lots of odds and ends all over the yard, like this giant pail with small waterfall.  Most of it was not the sort of thing that appeals to me during our decluttering phase.  These possible second uses of things are precisely the logic my mom used for not giving or throwing things away.

But I did like this use of an old bed post to put a new spin on the idea of a flower bed.

Some new ideas come in the way of plants I don't know, but do well in an Anchorage garden.  I did know that people have tried hydrangeas, with difficulty.  But this Hydrangea Annabelle has been doing well for nearly ten years she said.  It has a mint green flower that then turns white.  It is against a south facing house wall, which helps.  

And I didn't know about these orchid primroses.  

And this nine bark diablo was another.

Pretty Flowers 

Of course one of the delights of a garden tour is to see some beautiful flowers.  And I'm a sucker for the deep blues of delphiniums

And these white lilies in the same garden were exquisite.

The Gardeners

Karen Gonne-Harrell was the gardener with the straw bales.  These beds were from last year's straw beds with wood put around them.  She added some dirt on top. But she said the carrots weren't doing well - here she pulled up a couple to show me.  

Rona Spaar had the most 'perfect' garden - everything was in place, lots of beautiful flowers everywhere, not spots that weren't green or full of blooming flowers.

Rathe Rasmussen's garden had lots of ideas in it - like the beer bottle borders.  This was a fun and lush garden.

I thought I recognized Marti Black's Spenard garden from a previous tour - five years ago she said.  (It's the first one in this 2013 post.  The porch was added on since then.)

And yes, in all these cases the gardeners were women.  Though Lester Black was also here and showing people around.

This was the part that was a beautiful garden in the most traditional sense, including the apple tree.

The other side of the house had Lester's junk pile.

This is Vicki Russell - the upcycling gardener who also had a number of plants I hadn't seen before.

Other Thoughts

We parked at Spruce Park near one of the houses.  The sign on this white bicycle says:

In memory of Jeff Dusenbury
7 -19-14
Beloved husband, father, friend, and avid cyclist.
Killed here on July 19, 2014

 As someone who bikes a lot, this is a somber reminder of the dangers.  The link tells more about what happened.

This sign at one of the gardens reminded me that gardening is one of those activities that transcends political leanings.  Passionate gardeners come in all ideologies.  Gardening is a neutral ground for those of different views to remember they are all human beings with more similarities than differences.

I wasn't exactly where this picture of the elephant fountain fit, so here it is to close this post.

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