Monday, June 9, 2014

Huntsville Spring Garden Tour

Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
This garden featured an array of hydrangea types, including "Annabelle" and
Oakleaf (behind the statue) as well as mophead and lacecaps (macrophylla)

On Saturday, we drove to Huntsville to attend the Spring Garden Tour, a self-guided tour of five private gardens in the historic district. It was a very hot day but all of the gardens were shaded and they were all within walking distance of each other. I did not think it was too bad hot even though Michael was sweating bullets. We ran into gardening friends Cyndia and Steve, who took us to a terrific place for lunch. They also took us to another fantastic garden that was not on the tour. I will post photos of it soon. It was a good day!

The gardens were small and many of them were designed by Bill Nance, a noted landscape designer who died two years ago. As hot as it was, one thing that I noticed was how calming and cooling the gardens were. Lush green lawns were bordered by boxwoods, hydrangeas, ferns, hostas and other shade-loving plants. The tour was a great way for homeowners to get ideas for landscaping small spaces.



Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
The same garden viewed from an elevated porch. The open lawn area makes the garden feel much larger. Notice the mixture of stonework and brickwork for the pathways.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014  


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
This pathway ends with this beautiful urn which provides a dramatic focal point.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
Another garden featured a container planting with a plant I don't see that often - Plumeria.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
This courtyard garden has clipped boxwoods and ligustrum standards (or that may be a different plant)
under a Japanese maple.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
I loved this ivy-covered shed behind the residence. Actually I am not sure if this
belonged to them or the neighbors. I thought it was cool.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
This garden had lots of various elevations and steps which always appeals to me.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
A serene front garden.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
A small Japanese maple, underplanted with liriope, enhanced by a perfect placement of a statue.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
A bird bath by Birmingham artist Frank Fleming.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
This potted ivy was so pretty - I wish I knew the name of the variety.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
A beautiful gazebo surrounded by lush plantings.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014  

Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
I love the pop of color of the coleus in the urn.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
"Annabelle" hydrangeas along the fence in a side garden. The light green leaves hanging in the foreground are from a Sweet Bay magnolia. There were several beautiful specimens of that tree in this garden.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014 The side garden.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
Ivy-covered wall and a garden bench.
  

Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
Various types of ferns were planted in the hell-strip outside one of the gardens.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
A clematis variety and unidentified flower.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
Almost all of the gardens and homes had these wonderful porches!


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
A unique garden bench.


Huntsville, Alabama Garden Tour 2014
This garden was not on the tour but we walked past it along the way. Isn't it charming?
 

Text and photos by Phillip Oliver, Dirt Therapy

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12 comments:

Jean Campbell said...

Thank you for letting us see these gardens through your eyes. The litany of plants seen, the shade patterns -- there are no gardens to equal those in north Alabama and north Georgia.

Alison said...

Thanks for sharing your pictures from the tour. I once dated a guy from Huntsville, AL. That was a lucky escape, now that I think about it. I love the covered porch.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I liked several of the places that you highlighted. Ivy can cover many ills in a garden. I would love to have a screened porch similar to the one you showed. That last photo shows a very charming place. I can't wait to see the next set of photos of your tour.

Rebecca said...

We haven't taken our first Garden Tour for 2014 yet - so what a delight to see these gardens. Porches, large potted plants and all the green are some of the things that made my heart beat faster. Oh, and I DID like the one not on the tour!

sanda said...

Nice photos of beautiful gardens. Enjoyed the glimpses into these tour gardens.

Katherine Wilder said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing your photos. I love shade gardens!!:O)

chavliness said...

Always nice to peak into other folks' gardens to be inspired. Paved pathways are a great garden feature that is suitable to all gardens regardless of climate zones. I love the one with the urn as a focal point.

outlawgardener said...

Lovely gardens and great pictures! Thanks for taking us along. Sounds like you had a great day in spite of the heat.

Aaron Dalton said...

Very nice, but I like your garden better :)

Of these, I'd say the ferns and clematis are my favorites.

The others a bit too ... formal and sedate for me. Well, except for that riotous final photo!

Cyndia said...

It was a joy to see those gardens with you and Michael, Phillip! And as usual, your photos are much better than mine! I heard that Athens had their tour on Saturday too. I wish I could have seen that one as well.
Decatur's tour was lovely, as usual, and I saw some very different gardens, as well as old favorites. Put that one on your calendar for next year!

Jen said...

plumeria! I'm so impressed they have theirs blooming so early, mine do not bloom until mid july. I wonder how they do it, must have a greenhouse to start them in or something?

Les said...

Do you think the keep the ivy on the shed to keep it from falling down?