Sunday, June 29, 2008

Open Days Gardens

One of the girls that I work with (Michelle - she is our lead designer) always keeps up on what is going on in the area and any upcoming events. This year she found out about a national program that offers a day to walk through local private gardens. I happens in every state . . . she bought the directory and looked up Illinois and planned an outing for a few of us to go visit some of these magnificent gardens this weekend. This will be my "cliff notes" version of what I saw today. I took 187 pictures so this is just a very small sampling.

Gardens of Suzanne and Dennis Nyren

This home and garden is located in Lake Forest next to that Lake Forest Open Lands. This garden did a magnificent job of staying true to it's woodland neighbor.

With all of the green this orange was stunning!

The Carton Garden

This home was right behind the first one . . . it was originally part of the same piece of property and the previous home was the original on the property. The owner sold of the first portion and built a home on the remaining seven acres (approximately). This is where we began right by the kitchen.

This area opened up into a large lawn area with a stunning beech tree (which happened to be the tree of the day . . . everyone had one). Part of the beauty of this garden was it's ability to combine the formal with the wild and whimsy. Very natural plantings with perfect borders up to the turf or a perfectly shaped formal tree . . . really the combination was done perfectly.

The large lawn lead us back to the pool house and the secluded pool. The garden around it was fabulous . . . the pool was beautiful . . . the setting perfect . . . but the truly amazing show piece was the latticed espalier pears along the back wall! It was like nothing that I have ever seen before!

This lead us back into the garden area with more espalier fruit trees and ornaments hanging from the lines.This garden backed into a wooded fire pit area complete with furniture made from tree stumps . . . if only I had a place like this when I was in hig
h school . . . my friends and I would have had a fire every night.

As you exit the wooded area you come to the pond . . . once again a stunning beech tree was the focal point. A path lead you all the way around the pond in order to enjoy every single plant there in all of their glory.

This lead us back to the house, and just when we thought that we were done we realized that there was a side yard that we had not even seen. This area included a bog, theater, walking path, and backed right up to the golf course. Overall . . . we could have spent the whole day here exploring what this homeowner spent 50 years creating.

John V. Crowe Garden

This French style garden was designed by an English designer, Rosemary Verey. The formal tea roses by the pool with the perfect tree line and hedge are absolute examples of French formal design.

The lilac room had stunning beds where I got a lot of ideas of combinations for my own garden. To me the stunning feature was the red brick wall that enclosed one side of this garden room.

Lawn stairs are a rare find, but one that I truly enjoy. These were stunning in this large expanse of lawn!

The home is my dream house . . . the red brick and white colums are what I have dreamed of since I was small. It was wonderful to see my dream home in reality!

Markus Collection and Garden

All that I can really say about this garden is that I was curious when we went in based on the description . . . it sounded more like a specimen arboretum than a home landscape. I was stunned by what I saw . . . such a variety of conifers and maples . . . I have never seen that many together . . . and it was designed so perfectly that you didn't realize that you were looking at a specimen garden . . . the colors and textures worked together so well. See for yourself . . . but warning the pictures don't begin to do justice to how fabulous this was.

I have more pictures, but I thought that this was a good sample of how much color you can get with almost no flower, just foliage.

Nantucket Garden

I have never seen white and green beds work so well before. This gardener is good when it comes to working withing a pallet.

They made the best out of their low point (boggy area) and recently planted it with what will be even more beautiful as it matures.

As you move up the slope you find the soft color perennial garden.

This home showed a beautiful Nantucket style garden . . . it fit perfectly with the home.

Walled Retreat

At this home the landscape and the structure were truly one. It began on the side with this formal line of trees.

Next you pass through the doorway in the wall into the yard. The doorway with climbing hydrangea around it was a show piece all it's own.

I loved that this person has a fondness for bright pink flowers as much as I do.

Greta's Cotswold Cottage Garden

This gardener made the most out of a very small space. She created a fabulous colorful garden.

I loved the swing in the back. I can just imagine curling up in it with a good book on a lazy Saturday morning.

McKenna Garden

This Asian inspired garden was perfectly designed to move you through the garden and create different garden rooms. It began with the long hall leading to the red bench. I love red.

The next hallway leads you through columns with Chinese dog statues on them ending in a Asian style tea house.

From here you wind around the back where there sits a small patio table.

The containers here were fantastic. I just had to share.


Brittany said...

that is so cool! can you tell me when i can go look at some gardens in portland? that sounds like fun to me.

Jenn Hansen said...

Wow! So, I want something of a mixture of the Nantucket Garden and the Cottage Garden for my house. You'll hvae to bring the pictures with you when you come back to Boise next so that I can get some better ideas.