What is it about garden people that makes them so generous? I could think of a dozen examples. My dear friends Jeanne and Hallie offering to take me to nurseries to look for plants for my garden, or advise me on what would work best in a particular space with a certain amount of shade or sunshine. Trust me, I am a complete novice and need a lot of help. Or upon hearing me express a desire for a fountain in my new garden, picking me up and taking me to Pasadena to an antique store that had the perfect fountain for my back yard. Or my friend Ellen offering me her flower arrangements to decorate my garden when it is on a tour in a couple of weeks. Or a friend taking me around her garden and sharing her garden knowledge and advice with me. Or casually saying "let's go to a garden tour in Pasadena. You will love it!"
Now I have learned that these invitations can lead to all day affairs that can often be exhausting, inspiring, funny, and wonderful all at the same time. And this is what happened on Sunday when my friends Ellen and Jeanne invited me to go on the Pasadena Open Days garden tour put on by Garden Conservancy. They also invited me to go to a luncheon put on by their friend who has a wonderful house and garden near Pasadena. Having learned from experience to just say yes, and trust that this day will be worth it, I jumped at the chance.
One of the beautiful homes on the Pasadena Garden Conservancy Open Days Tour
Another lovely home, its entry way dappled with sunlight
And so began our adventure. We had a map and were even following the lead car, but getting lost is part of the fun I have decided. Because it seems to be inevitable, no matter how good the map is or which car you are trying to follow. After numerous u-turns and inadvertently whizzing over speed bumps, we managed to see all six gardens and they were worth it. I realize that this garden tour is so much about the small vignettes that stay with you. Whether the property is huge and awe-inspiring or small and relatable, these gardeners are attending to details and giving us a visual feast of small moments to take in. Here are some of my favorites:
At the end of a couple of hours of looking at gardens, my friends and I arrived at the house of our hostess who was graciously providing us lunch. We pulled up to her welcoming home which was adorned with beautiful gardens wherever you looked.
The first thing we did was make a beeline for her gorgeous rose-covered pergola where the beverages were being served.
Next we walked into her garden room for lunch. This is the garden themed-table that we encountered. How gorgeous is this!
A close-up of this heavenly table
Here are some of the beautiful moments I encountered in this lovely home:
By the way, May is is really garden tour month in Los Angeles. Here are some garden tours not to miss:
Venice Garden and Home Tour on May 7
Robinson Gardens "...into the garden" Tour on May 13
Garden Conservancy Open Days tour for West Los Angeles on May 15
Go ahead, put on your hat and your good walking shoes and enjoy! There's nothing like it for getting ideas for your own garden, enjoying a visual feast, and most importantly meeting some wonderful garden friends.