Spontaneous Garden Tours

Visiting a friend  for tea (or for dropping off a book or picking up a tool) is a great excuse to get a peek of their garden. And since these are friends, they’re likely happy to show off  their latest project or newest acquisition.

First you must get through the “Everything is a mess, you should have seen it last week when….” But for me, this is the reality garden, not the official garden tour where everything is groomed and people are anxious about timing for arrival at the next location. Personally, this is how I like things!

Recently I was helping my friend Lynn deliver some folding chairs and things for a party. This is the approach to her city house with its magnificent mature magnolia planted beneath with hellebores and other lovely shade gems.


Access to the parking area is behind, and so you walk through her very personal transition sitting area. Normally we’d sit out here to chat with a glass of wine, but not this time. So we walked past several clematis and containers to accomplish that day’s tasks. (Grumble grumble…”this place is a mess”….)


Mary is a friend of a friend, a former children’s librarian. We picked her up to go to a quilt show last week. She was telling us about how her clematis were blooming so well, so on our return I asked to see them. Of course she was concerned that she hadn’t been able to keep up with her weeding (yadda yadda…) but was so thrilled by her vines that she was happy to share them.


I just love the sheets drying in the breeze, something you’d NEVER see on a planned garden tour. And here are a pink and blue pair blooming at the same time together.


Isn’t her hydrangea a lovely feature too? It is about 15 years old.


Dropping by my friend Elizabeth’s place is always relaxing and full of garden talk. No apologies here, only enthusiasm and delight. “Wasn’t this just the most perfect gardening day?” “You know my new pawpaw tree? Well I found it dug up and dragged into the lily of the valley! What critter do you suppose did that?” As usual, Miss Zoe took a break from playing with chipmunks and joined us for tea.


Elizabeth keeps many spectacular plants indoors that she brings outside once danger of frost has passed. I love this pot!


She too dries her laundry outdoors and it makes a lovely backdrop for her cottage garden.


Here in her back yard retreat, Elizabeth has been adding trees. Oh the shopping moments we have shared! What a wonderfully evil influence… But I do think she needs to dare to add a few clematis, don’t you?


Three spontaneous garden tours in just one week! Give it a try. I think you’ll be delighted.


About fromourisland

Gardener, knitter, wife, mother of 2, grandmother, and lots more.
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2 Responses to Spontaneous Garden Tours

  1. tezalizard says:

    I love spontaneous garden tours. I [accompanied by Megan] usually find ourselves walking the streets of Elora Sunday’s after work, admiring the gardens of our nursery clients who are usually thrilled to have us in for a closer look! I must get back into the swing of things this season!

  2. Sue says:

    Such fun to visit friend’s gardens, isn’t it? All three look like great places to poke around.

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