Sunday, July 8, 2012

Saratoga's Secret Gardens, 2012 edition

 The 18th annual Soroptimist Secret Gardens Tour was held in Saratoga this weekend. Despite the influx of Phish fans, traffic flowed smoothly between the twelve featured gardens.
 The recent dry weather has stressed some of the perennials but there were still plenty of flowers putting on a good show. (As you scroll through the photos, you may click on pictures to enlarge them.)

It's interesting to me to see how garden trends vary over the years.
On this tour, many gardens included strategically placed rocks, like this lovely mossy one, below.
 Bird houses are always a popular garden accessory,
 adding both color and a focal point.

I liked this container, below, set on a weathered stepladder. The gardener had included a twig wreath around the edge which was a pretty touch.

Faux mushrooms were a recurring accent in many gardens this year.
 One clever young mom had worked with her daughter to create a lovely fairy garden. It was quite extensive but hard to photograph with its tiny features tucked into shady nooks. The daughter was charmingly handing out cool lemonade to the hoards of visitors tromping around her family's gardens. Much appreciated!
The same family's garden featured this neat old bike with its basket full of blooms.

And speaking of baskets, how about this for an idea? How many ten cent baskets have you seen in garage sales and passed by? This one set off the hen and chicks quite nicely.
 No room for a tennis court? How about a garden-size chess set?

Mixing vegetables in among the flower borders is a trend I saw often on this tour. I like it. This is lettuce, below, on the left.
Raised beds of vegetables were snuggled in near rose borders at the Union Gables Bed and Breakfast. The folks there get TONS of credit for offering cool water, cool places to sit a bit, and restrooms. How kind and thoughtful of them. 
Proceeds from the Soroptimist garden tour go to programs that help to improve the lives of women and girls both locally and internationally. You can find out about next year's tour at www.soroptimistsaratoga.org