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

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 Sheridan Annual Garden Tour, Part 3

Welcome to Part 3 in my 4-part series of 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. Part 1 and Part 2 featured finalists from the Backyard Garden category, while this post showcases our favorite finalist from the Estate Garden category...

The beautiful English style gardens of Lloyd and Diana enticed us in and entertained us during our visit with enchanting and soothing harp music...

Major bonus points for the lovely touch of a harpist among the roses!

As I was photographing the harpist another woman approached me with a similar camera, and as we were comparing them I noticed her shirt was a perfect match to the pink roses in front of us, so I offered to take her photo with them. But she politely declined - since they were her roses! Turns out she was Diana, delightful co-owner of this slice of paradise, who (she humbly disclosed during our conversation) worked for 20 years as the master gardener at Trail End State Historic Site, whose gorgeous gardens and grounds have appeared in some of my posts, this being my favorite. This explains why her own gardens are so exquisite! During the 22 years she and Lloyd have lived at this property they've planted 300 trees, designed and planted all the gardens (including a large vegetable garden), built all the sheds, cupolas, gazebos, arbors and fences, and installed all the rock walls. And now that he's "retired," Lloyd has taken up iron work (he built the handsome iron railing on their new deck, which I failed to photograph), and is now growing hops and grapes to use in making spirits. 

I loved many of their decorative touches, including this beautiful Victorian birdhouse…

And this wonderful dragonfly crafted by Lloyd from vintage utensil handles, one of two that I spied hiding in the foliage of their extensive gardens...

Diana designed the gardens to create outdoor rooms and secret gardens. The peekaboo glimpse I got through some tree branches (those dark green blobs in the foreground are leaves) is my favorite of her secret gardens…

I'm convinced that sweet woodland creatures bed down here at night, 
falling asleep to the softly twinkling sound of singing faeries.

My final garden tour post will feature the Estate Garden winner. Stay tuned!

2014 Sheridan Annual Garden Tour, Part 1
2014 Sheridan Annual Garden Tour, Part 2
2014 Sheridan Annual Garden Tour, Part 4


  1. Lovely dragonfly!
    I love touring gardens and we have a big one in July with about 100 gardens all over the city - big and small. I was a bit confused since I didn't remember anything about parts 1 or 2, but I see that was because you posted while I was away....

    1. Isn't that dragonfly great? I wish he made them to sell (or I knew how to make them!) :-) Wow, the one you guys have in July would be overwhelming! I hope it runs the entire month - it took us the better part of the day just to tour the few we did (though there was a good bit of driving to get to some of them). Do you have any posts from the one there?

      Yes, these garden tour posts have been scattered - I work on them as I can, but SkyWatch and camping posts have sprouted up in between. :-) I just have one more to do, but also our camping trip to Montana - and the annual quilt show at our library has started! No rest for the wicked blogger. :-)

    2. the open gardens goes on for a whole week with most gardens open for only an evening or two. I don't think I have any posts, just the odd photo popping up here and there.

      and yes, I did go to Scotland and Holland on the same trip. and yes, it is an odd combination! I was visiting family and my cousin wanted a to visit Amsterdam, so I went with her. I've more posts on my other blog

    3. That's a nice way to do a garden tour. Doing it all in one long day in mid-July is a bit much. It can get awfully hot, it's a really long day for the people hosting the tours, and the lighting is too bright during most of it to get good photos (though I think I'm the only one who gives a flip about that, since I didn't see anyone else with a camera! Can you imagine?!) :-)

      That really is funny that we both did the rather exclusive Scotland/Netherlands tour! :-) I'll have to check out your other blog for more photos.

  2. Love the combo of art and garden. especially the Victorian birdhouse and the silverware dragonfly! -- barbara

    1. I loved those two things best too, but she also had a really fun collection on her front porch. I didn't really take a photo because it felt too invasive somehow (small porch, lots of glass, house numbers on display)…

  3. What a garden. Love the inclusion of art work and I suspect I would happily live in that garden myself.
    Thank you - and the designers for the blood, sweat and tears they have put into making this haven.

    1. You'd have loved it, and yes - it would be easy to move in! I truly didn't want to leave. My photos don't do it justice… it wasn't easy to capture in photos. BW and I can't remember how much land they have - 2-3 acres, but if felt so much bigger. Unbelievable amount of work they've done. I'd give them the prize just for planting all those trees!

  4. I love the idea of a harpist playing as you toured. And that dragonfly is super.

    1. I know, wasn't that a wonderful touch? I was smitten the moment I heard the music, and then when I saw it was an actual harpist and not a recording, they had my vote. :-) The dragonfly was icing on the cake - I love dragonflies!

  5. Really beautiful garden and such nice sentiments!

    1. Thank you, Kenneth! They did have a gorgeous property, I wish I'd taken more photos, but I was too agog. :-)

  6. Beautiful gardens and so much hard work and devotion put into them. Nice touch with the harpist!

  7. A lovely touch to have a harpist! Such pretty shots of the garden.

  8. Wow, a harpist! They really went all out with theirs! Perfect setting amongst the roses, too.

    That birdhouse is really pretty and the dragonfly is SO cool! How creative to use utensils for them. I'm very impressed that they've done everything themselves over the last 20!! years. So many trees planted, too. So, so wonderful!

    The secret spots sound like perfect places to hide away and read all day. I bet their veggie garden is amazing, too. They must have a lot of land!

    1. I know, wasn't that a wonderful touch?

      We were very impressed too! The winner's gardens were also wonderful, but this was an easy vote for us to cast - Lloyd and Diana's was our favorite by far.

      It seemed like a lot more land than it was! We can't remember now if it was 2 or 3 acres, but it easily felt like more than 5. And yes, their veggie garden was indeed impressive! And tempting. :-)

  9. I've made it possible to comment through Google+ (added it just for you :P)! Love the new title picture, it makes me happy and I'm loving fall so much right now so it's perfection! I love these garden tours you've been sharing. Those little details add so much! And I love that you were serenaded by harp :) I recently went to Italy and we stumbled upon a beautiful, huge garden and it was such a treat! I plan on sharing photos soon!

    1. Hi, Eva! I'm sorry I'm so late with my reply, I've had troubles juggling everything lately and a lot has been getting buried. I did see your comment when it came in, though, and was delighted to see you'd made it past the Blogger Blockades! :-)

      I'm so my autumn title photo made you happy - I took it a couple of Octobers ago: it's a closeup of the prettiest barberry bush I have ever seen, located in a front yard that we pass frequently on walks and bike rides. I agree that the harpist was a wonderful detail - and how I envy you trip to Italy, especially the serendipity of stumbling upon a huge and beautiful garden there! Wish I could have been with you!

      I promise to visit your blog very soon (hopefully today!) as I try to get caught up! :-) xoxo


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

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"

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