My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2014 Sheridan Annual Garden Tour, Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of my 4-part series about this year's Garden Tour!


We toured seven of Sheridan's eight competing gardens on July 19. The finalists, chosen by the local greenhouse that sponsors the tour, competed this year for the most votes from the touring public in two categories: "Amazing" Estate Garden and "Amazing" Backyard Garden. 

Part 1 featured one of the backyard garden finalists, so here are the remaining three we toured (the one we missed was also in this category), starting with the "Amazing" Backyard Garden winner and their friendly, colorful welcome by the front door


This home and garden, belonging to Debra and Rob, is just a block away from the house we rented while our current home was being built, so we remember it but had never seen the private back yard before. The most impressive thing about this place (and the last one on this post) is something I didn't think I'd be able to show you: their "before" photos! But happily, I just discovered that Debra, a working artist, has a web site! So you can see the before photos, as well as more of their yard and her art, made from recycled/repurposed materials.

Both the house and yard were in horrible condition when they'd bought the place. In just five years, doing it all themselves, Rob and Debra turned a yard of bare dirt and weeds and a rundown house into this lovely prize-winning sanctuary...

I love the airplane whirligig in the foreground and the shady bench in the back corner. 
Oh, and the guy in the blue shirt, too! :-)

Apparently Rob and Deb also managed to squeeze in some traveling! (Or maybe they just steal license plates off vehicles at the visitor's center. LOL)...


This next contender was a very large property out in the country (we were surprised it was in the Backyard rather than the Estate garden category). Its best feature was the two adjoining ponds that the owners, Robert and Carla, built themselves. The ponds (one large, one small) had a little footbridge spanning them, with koi and lily pads and antiques and whimsical decorations scattered around their edges, and so many different kinds of solar lights that I'm sure this garden is best enjoyed at night! But in the daylight, the highlight was this lovely waterfall, positioned right in front of their large covered patio for maximum soothing effect…


I found this unobtrusive little sign pointing to the ponds quite amusing (and relatable!)...


This final Backyard Garden is the one that got our votes. Before we even saw the garden, their adorable cottage had won our hearts...


This time I have no web site to share and couldn't photograph the photo album they had on display that showed what this place looked like when they bought it. Trust me, it wasn't pretty - but in three years, the owners, Gene and Lillian (former stage and screen actors and musicians) had transformed a derelict hovel into this enchanting home...


As if the charm of the front yard weren't enough, when we walked through the gate to the back yard we were greeted by bubbles!! 

And aren't those hollyhocks wonderful?\

In addition to a lot of old-fashioned plants like the hollyhocks (many grown from seed) that went well with their early 1900's home, they had a vegetable garden I wanted to raid right then and there - filled to capacity with heirloom tomatoes and gorgeous kale! Besides the adorable cottage and fun bubbles, another reason we liked this garden so much was that it inspired us with a few ideas for our own back yard and patio, from their pagoda (not pictured) to their solar Japanese lanterns to this very tall lattice privacy screen. BW had me take several photos of its details and Gene generously answered BW's questions about its construction. Since our HOA only allows "privacy" fences to be 5' tall (which only really affords you privacy if you're a toddler!), a couple of these set 2-3 feet inside the fence, with trumpet vines or morning glories climbing them, would do the trick (and give the dogs some shady hidey-spots to nap!)...

We've been enjoying some really lovely weather (though yesterday's high of about 90º was a tad toasty for this time of year!), and everyone's flowers are looking beautiful, veggie gardens are spewing forth an abundance of tomatoes, zucchini, winter squash, herbs, etc, while just a few trees are beginning to turn. Late summer/early Autumn can be so delightful.

Except when it isn't! Here's our forecast as of this moment... 

A WINTER STORM WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING. 

PERIODS OF HEAVY WET SNOWFALL MAY IMPACT THE BEARTOOTH, ABSAROKA AND BIG HORN MOUNTAINS AND THEIR FOOTHILLS WEDNESDAY NIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING. 

* ACCUMULATING WET SNOW MAY CAUSE DAMAGE TO TREES AND POWER LINES. 

* HEAVIEST SNOW WILL FALL ALONG THE NORTHEAST SLOPES OF THE BEARTOOTH, ABSAROKA AND BIG HORN MOUNTAINS.  SEVERAL INCHES OF SNOW ARE ALSO POSSIBLE ALONG THE NEAR NYE, RED LODGE, DAYTON, SHERIDAN AND STORY. 

 * WINDS NORTHEAST 15 TO 25 MPH WITH HIGHER GUSTS OVER THE MOUNTAINS. 
 
Oh, UGH! Remember what happened to us last year? (At least it had the good graces to wait till October!) I sure hope this forecast is being overly dramatic, but the predicted low of 23º Thursday night is going to wreak havoc even if snow doesn't. We'd planned to leave today with the girls and Girasole for Havre, but since this storm is barreling down from northern Montana their forecast isn't any better than ours. So we're staying put until Saturday. (And so will do my best to publish a SkyWatch Friday post this week).

Anyway, Parts 3 and 4 of the Garden Tour (which may not materialize till October!) will feature two of the three gardens from the Estate Gardens category (the owners of the third one were rude and pissed us off, so their garden doesn't get to be on my blog. That'll show 'em!) 

2014 Sheridan Annual Garden Tour, Part 1
2014 Sheridan Annual Garden Tour, Part 3
2014 Sheridan Annual Garden Tour, Part 4

8 comments:

  1. Love the gardens. Lots of blood, sweat and tears fertilised them, and beauty and inspiration are their rewards.
    Fingers, toes and eyes crossed that the storm treats you kindly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of hard work (and money) indeed, especially when you factor in the refurbished houses, too!

      Thanks for crossing everything on our behalf! It's looking glum, I'm afraid.

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  2. Wow...those pond creations are something. Thanks for the tour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're welcome! Thanks for the visit! :-) xoxo

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  3. You got some nice shots of each property. It was hard to choose, they all had great things to offer. I'm hoping the weather person is wrong. We've covered some plants but we have too much to try and save it all. Not sure if our poor maple can take another wet snow. You can be sure I've had a few choice words to say to Mother Nature.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tried, and took a lot more than I could post (as usual), but thought these were the best of the bunch. There sure were some nice properties, the tour is something we really look forward to!

      We've been thinking about you guys, your maple, and your garden, and we too hope the weather folks are being catastrophizers. Those temps, that snow - ugh! Mother Nature is in a sudden foul mood (can't blame her, but don't think she should take it out on the plants!), but I am also blaming Canada, since they're the source of this weather system. ;-) Hoping our gardens and trees all fare okay!

      Delete
  4. Wow, they did all of that in 5 years on the first house!? I adore the shaded bench they have. It would be a perfect spot for reading! I love their gate, of course, especially since they added some Route 66 signs. So cool!

    The second yard looks very pretty, as well, and quite extravagant! I wonder if their fence ever breaks with the winds you get? The one we had like that didn't hold up at all.

    I can see why the third one got your votes. It's an adorable little house! It's extremely impressive that they did all of that in 3 years. WOW!! I especially love that they had a bubble machine. Having one of those would be so much fun & I bet the pups would have a blast with it. :) The privacy screen does sound like a great idea to add more privacy to a fence.

    I'd almost be afraid to look at your next post if I didn't already know what came your way. Craziness!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, did you take a peek at their "before" photos? There are some ambitious people participating in these garden tours, I tell ya! I agree about that shady bench being a perfect spot for reading!

      We don't see many of those vinyl privacy fences around here, and when we do they are often in a state of disrepair. No doubt the wind (and our intense sun) do a number on them. This one looked really new.

      I'd love to see Emma and Rowan's reactions to a bubble machine! LOL!

      Craziness indeed - it's supposed to be in the upper 80s here the day we start back home! We're having to pack clothing for predicted temps that range from 38º to 80º in the places we'll be. That's more clothing than I was hoping to take! At least it's supposed to be sunny nearly the entire time.

      Delete

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SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

SOME CURRENT & RECENT READING...

  • INFERNO ~ Dan Brown
  • MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD & EVIL ~ John Berendt
  • MY NOTORIOUS LIFE: A NOVEL ~ Kate Manning
  • ONE SUMMER: AMERICA, 1927 ~ Bill Bryson
  • QUIET: THE POWER OF INTROVERTS IN A WORLD THAT CAN'T STOP TALKING ~ Susan Cain
  • THE BEAUTIFUL CIGAR GIRL ~ Daniel Stashower
  • THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY ~ Erik Larson
  • THE SHADOWS, KITH AND KIN ~ Joe R. Lansdale
  • THE TIPPING POINT ~ Malcolm Gladwell
There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"