The first one was a place off a country road with a fantastic view and a pond. The plantings near the house were quite formal while those down by the pond were a bit wilder, more natural.
The second one was a home that had been in the same family since it was built in 1882 until it was bought by a couple in 1983. They have done various modernizations to the house and gardens over the years. This is a large property within the town so you can see other houses and the highway from the grounds.
The third home was out in the country with an amazing view of many of our mountains, though the plantings weren't as numerous or as appealing to me.
The next stop on the tour was a local farm which sells its vegetables, goat cheese, and meats from a food stand, at the local farmers' markets, and through subscriptions in their Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. I talked to the guy at the farmers' market this morning before our tour and he said most of the CSA members have their own gardens but they like getting produce earlier in the season and different vegetables than they grow themselves. I am going to get information on this and will consider if it is something we might like to try next year. They have both a spring and fall subscription. This is a real working farm with greenhouses, chickens, pigs, turkeys, and goats.
That old camper is the chicken house!
The fifth place was my favorite by far. It is now an inn, but it was built by a wealthy, famous man in the 1920s for his daughter and her new husband as a wedding present. Tom's parents stayed there last fall so we got to see the inside then. There's a wonderful little library area where I could have happily spent a vacation. But today the focus was on the grounds. They are bursting with blooms which are presented in a most natural way. There are stone pathways up and down the hill from the inn. The various gardens have names -
the patio garden,
the pond garden,
and the gate garden.
The walkway through the gate ends at this fountain.
There is a path through the woods which is reached via a wooden bridge over the cat tail filled marsh.
The last garden we visited we viewed only from the outside. It is on a side street in our little town, and is called an 'entrance garden.' I so love this place. Down the hill behind the house is the private back yard. Really such a lovely space.
We so enjoyed our hours walking around all these places, but honestly when we came home we thought our gardens were the prettiest we had seen. Probably because we have planted all the flowers and vegetables ourselves, and love them as if they were a little like friends. My preference in gardening is less mulch and closer plantings than most of the places we saw today which featured larger expanses of cedar mulch and fewer plants. Today was like a little vacation for Tom and I, and we had such a nice day.