Monday, June 27, 2016

More Hidden Gardens: Cool spaces and artful decorations in Ballston Spa. Plus a note about the SPAC Jazz Fest.

I am loving early summer and the many opportunities it brings to avoid working in my own garden. Sunday was kinda hot, anyway, for weeding and such, so why not go take a look at the fruits of other's labors?
And because it was hot, it was mostly the shady places that attracted my attention yesterday.

The Ballston Spa Hidden Garden Tour was a shared fundraiser for the Ballston Spa House and Garden Club and the Friends of the Ballston Spa Public Library.
 Eight homes and two public spaces were on the tour.
 I think Bee Balm Gal needs to add to her collection: this dwarf bee balm (aka, Monarda) glowed in a shady back garden.I will add it to my wish list.
 Garden decor of all types added color, sometimes function, and often whimsy to many of  the gardens on yesterday's tour.
 This array of red tulip-like teacups was a cheerful  sight in this sunny garden. I confess, however, that I would worry about them becoming breeding spots for mosquitoes.
Perhaps something like these stacked orbs, spotted in a different garden, would be less mosquito-friendly.

 Sometimes, as above, just the right colored pot becomes decor, especially when it does such a good job of setting off the color of the flowers it holds. This red and blue combo is very pretty.
 Here, a subtle metal sphere added color to a shady green corner.
 I like a gardener with a sense of humor. The shady perennial border in this backyard runs along the edge of a wooded area. This year, the homeowners have been plagued by deer munching on their plantings. The husband made the sign.
 Also near the "deer diner" was this re-purposed chandelier. A garage sale light fixture was re-fitted with solar lights and hung on a tree with a metal bracket. Perhaps the deer like dining by candlelight.

The owner of this garden is interested in native plants, and that is what populates most of their large garden. Yesterday, tall Goatsbeard plants (Aruncus dioicus) were looking particularly dramatic in several shady spots.
 I don't know the story of this large art piece, but it looked lovely propped against a good-sized tree.
 Down the road a piece, these clever gardeners made an effective frame to protect their berry bushes from various critters. All they used were PVC pipe and fittings, along with a roll of plastic deer fencing and some zip strips. No hammer and nails needed and it could be easily disassembled and stored for the winter. Great idea.

The last photo, below, was from this same garden. In a full sun space near the road, this simple bed of just two types of plants - red knockout roses and purple cat-mint - made a a big impact. My photo doesn't do it justice. It was a knockout, indeed.

Late Sunday afternoon, the Handsome Husband and I headed to nearby Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) to see the last three acts of the Jazz Festival. Loved seeing and hearing Chick Corea and his trio. But the final act, Smokey Robinson, was ... well, just a little weird, in my opinion. I'm not sure Motown = jazz, but aside from that, Robinson was over the top in his emoting. Shoulda just played his fan favorites straight, talked less, ground his loins less (I mean, the man is 76) and called it good enough. On the upside: the crowd was well-behaved and the Mazzone-catered food was pretty good and reasonably affordable for venue fare.
And that was a good chunk of my summer weekend. How was yours?