Monday, June 25, 2012

A Vacation Interruption

We got up to Park City on a Friday afternoon.
Thursday I had had to have some emergency oral surgery so Friday and Saturday I basically took to bed with pain pills and an ice pack.
My face swelled up pretty good....
Bernie hiked and I slept or read.
Sunday I was please to see my face return to normal proportions.
That was a good thing not just cosmetically, but also because our house was on a garden tour that afternoon!
It really was a good thing that we decided to vacation close to home. I shudder to think what it would of been like trying to fly or drive somewhere the day after the surgery.
And the tour?
It was scheduled after we scheduled our vacation time.
The garden tour was a small event featuring four Salt Lake area gardens that focused Japanese maples in their garden design.
The garden of our son Jeff (the guy in the navy shirt next to Bernie in his Panama straw hat)  was the first stop on the tour.

He has had this garden for two years.
The rock wall?
Recently constructed from the rock we gathered out by the Great Salt Lake.

Japanese maples are facinating to us mostly because of the variation in leaf shape and color.
Isn't this a beauty?
Jeff has at least twenty varieties of maples in his garden.

Next stop was our place.
We have about 36 varieties of maples in our three year old garden.
(The garden of course was planted in 1954, but aside from a sequoia tree and a huge ash tree and live oaks it was basically undeveloped bedding when we got it.)

There are 18 maples just in this area.

My Oriental Poppies are done blooming, now the sun bed is mostly various shades of rocket filling in the space.

It was about six pm here, and the temperature had soared into the nineties with wind.
I served goat cheese and crackers topped with fresh fruit and garden grown chocolate mint sparkling ice tea.
It was so interesting to gab with other maple enthusists. 

Next stop was a fifteen year old garden with probably about sixty japanese maples.
The owner had just turned forty and his friends gifted him with an amazing collection of garden gnomes.
It was such an elegant garden I was quite surprised by the whimsy until I knew how the collection had come to be.

A few of the maples that I really liked up close.
I like the reddish center and the deep green flecks on these leaves.

The pale center vein of each leaf of this variety just sparkled as the leaves shimmered in the breeze. 

Pink margins on Japanese maple leaves: I am such a sucker for those varieties!

What is really cool about Japanese maples is that they leaf out in the spring in one color, then gradually change to a summer color, often with colored highlights where the sun hits the leaves, like this tree in the middle is doing.
Then in the autumn they have a totally different color change.
It is like getting three gardens for the price of one!

The translucent leaves of the maples just glow in the sunlight.

See the smaller maple above the single gnome that has color gradation?
So subtle and beautiful.

This garden centered around a "cocktail" pool: a shallow double pool/jacuzzi that allows guests to stand waist deep in the pool or sit waist deep in the jacuzzi while enjoying drinks and conversation.

I like the chandelier in the cabana/tent area.
The Italian styled sculptured potted plants made the patio area so formal, while the japanese maple and pine forest around the garden edge felt quite serene and natural forest-y. 

Nice the friends provided a guide on how to survive the garden gnome attack...
And then it was time for our final stop.
The path leading up the hillside in the front of the house was tempting. I went up a bit then realized I wanted to be guided by the owners...just exploring on my own would have cheated me of a lot of information!

We went through the house to the back yard with vast decking areas.
The garden was 17 years old and cultivated and designed by a couple in their 70's.
They do all the work themselves save an occasional bit of help from a hired teen.
The patio japanese maple collection would have been reason enough to visit. 

It was about eight by the time we arrived here. The low sun was lighting up the maples in spectacular ways.

There were shade gardens that were filled with hundred of varieties of coral bells.

Water gardens with soaring sculptures...

Catus specimen gardens...

Non-cactus desert gardens.

Most of the garden acreage was being grown beneath native live oaks.
The owners potted maples and placed them along the pathways.
Notice the used wine corks used as mulch!

Rhodies and fern and all kinds of shade loving plants grew beneath the maples and oaks.

The lighting design was wonderful too.
The japanese stone lanters were appropriately placed to guide one along the paths, plus over head light spheres hung from branches and electric lamps also were regularly spaced. 

I always love the white backed needles on this variety of conifer.
Looks like icing/frosting, doesn't it? 

The garden had a sweet garden cat who took charge of leading us at one point.
Don't you love the short path fencing and natural stone steps?

Another bit of the desert garden area with a cute iron road runner racing along.

Sweet cat with a great sense of background setting for picture taking.

The 70+ year old retired former pro football player owner hauls the cactus pots down into a garage each October, and then brings them back out in late spring.
What a work out!
But so worth it...he says he complains about the chore every year and wonders why he does look at the specimens answers that question!

Love the curly cue bits!

This area smelled like mesquite and sage and desert wild plants.
The cat probably enjoys the scent too.l

The setting sun low light lit up cactus needles like glowing gold.

I think this was a mahogany tree.
Interesting huh?
The owners had lots of small conifers planted in drilled out rock.
Notice the label...EVERY plant was labeled!

Notice how small the leaves were on this maple by looking at my fingers in the top left.
Also notice the cool copper hanging lantern light.

The name tags with Latin and common names.
Red Filegree Lace.
All the Filigree varieties are gorgeous.

Different fencing styles according to area....

Sea Urchine?

About the size of a small melon.
I want one.

Each garden area had interesting sculptures too.

I have seen this kind of cactus growing on the ground.
It is much more interesting looking growing in an elevated pot.

Putting a blue conifer next to a green conifer brings out the best in both of them. 

Each garden area also included a nice bench.
I could happily sit and savor this garden area at sunset.

One of the water garden areas...I had a picture of it earlier.
Notice the wind chimes and the iron fencing.
They lease extra property to hold all of their plant collection.
They are surrounded by natural forest land.

The path through the huecura shade garden heading to the front of the house garden area.

See all the labels?
She had asked me the name of one of my huge huecera, I blush to say I didn't recall what it was named.

Her vast collection glowed in the low sunlight.

Of course she collected hostas too...

Jeff and I went ahead of the pack into the front garden lawn area.
I was surprised to see a deer munching on a weeping ornamental cherry tree...the garden is fenced with high fencing.
See the deer in the left side of the picture?
The husband started yelling at the deer, the deer started bolting around the garden, running into scary humans every where.

No only had the deer enjoyed the cherry tree, she had also consumed almost every single rose bud in the owners rose garden bed!
We watched at it leaped over the fence...see the pole behind the deer?
Yeah, that high! 

Glad we stumbled upon the deer before it was able to completely much the cherry tree down.

The rose garden looked mostly like this now: Just a stem neatly bitten off.
Another nice water feature...

Jeff checks out the huge maple...

...which really looked cool next to the blooming dogwood tree.

A less formal label of a variety I would like to own...

Can you see all the colors on that variety's lacy leaves?

Japanese fountain with scattered rose petals behind it, the remains of the deer's dining pleasure.

I just couldn't believe all the varieties of garden lighting that they had found.

Back on the patio....a baker's rack used to hold a collection of succulents.

A bench held a collection of miniture conifers...mostly the size of a large chicken egg.
(And people say they don't have room for trees in their garden!)

Another potted maple with a precious light feature.

In the center of the decking area was a water feature that was overhung with an ENORMOUS weeping blue conifer.
These things are usually people sized; Jeff has one in his front yard that is about my size.
Why this one went Godzilla sized was the topic of much discussion; the owners say they just put it in the water feature in a pot and do NOTHING to it. It just keeps growing!

To give you some perspective: the regularly spaced rocket shaped bushes above it are almost three times human sized and line a path.

I liked this sweep weeping style Japanese maple that has spotted areas of color change from sunshine.
Isn't it beautiful?

Some of the deck and fire pit....

A wider view...note the maples in pots scattered about.

The water feature was more like a river bank with water falls with paths and decking surrounding it.
Love the bronze bird sculptures in the water.
Tea pot lovers: The husband had purchased a lot of iron tea pots that had built in mesh strainers.
He told me to lift the plant was planted in the strainer and sat in water in the pot!
How smart is that?
Well, that is just a *few* peeks around the amazing last garden on the tour.
Yes we were glad the tour hadn't started there...and also were very impressed at how gracious the couple were as they asked us and Jeff about our gardens and Japanese maples.
They love their amazing garden, and we did too.
And the end of the day....I still love my garden best.
It is the just the right size for us...with the plants that we selected and love.
And our age three...has room for garden dreaming still.


Pondside said...

Such a lot of beauty, and representing so much love and hard work. I felt so sorry for the gardeners with the deer problem!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

A vacation interrupted for a lovely garden tour...not so bad! A vacation interrupted for emergency oral surgery...not so good. Your place is looking lovely...BTW!

Janice Haney said...

I'm with you about liking your garden best. Smaller is good, you have time for gardening and other things as well.

Lovella ♥ said...

I so enjoyed your garden tour. We have owned at least one japanese maple in every home we've owned and also enjoy their intricate leaves. I was surprised to see so many of them in pots. Do they overwinter okay in pots or are they taken under shelter?

Your yard is looking so lovely!

ellen b. said...

Sorry about your emergency surgery! Ouch. Glad things settled down before the tour. What a wonderful garden tour. Some of those yards are just amazing! Who knew there are so many varieties. Your yard looks very inviting...

Anneliese said...

The varieties of plants and trees are so vast and beautiful, each in their own way ... and to imagine the ones all over the world ... point to an amazing Creator.

Vee said...

What a beautiful garden tour with all its variety. That deer...oh frustrating for that poor owner to have the cherry tree munched and to lose all the rosebuds.

Rosella said...

Absolutely stunning garden tour!!!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Everything looked amazing , Jill, and I'm glad your oral surgery went well and you were able to enjoy the tour ! There wre many features and ideas I'd like to remember if I ever have more property one day. The corks used as mulch was novel, and I loved the "coctail" jacuzzi!

Your maples are beautiful!