July 18, 2011
Every year Kenosha's 4 Seasons Garden Club has a Secret Garden Walk where about 7 houses in the Kenosha community are selected and the home owners allow people to walk through their yard and look at the flower gardens that have been planted.
I've never been to this before, but this year a friend of mine asked me to join her on the walk, and I happily accepted the request. It took place last Saturday, July 9th. It was a warm, sunny day and the gardens were very inspiring (especially since we're in the process of landscaping our yard). So, I thought I'd share a few of the pictures I snapped along the way for you flower-loving folks.
The first house we saw was labeled "Wright on Track". I wasn't sure what that meant until we walked into the backyard and came upon the most unusual garden attraction I've seen - a train track!
It was complete with little houses built near the track and stations for storing the trains. We asked the owner if he keeps the track up year round and he said yes - snow and all.
The train had a little operating machine the owner was using that made all kinds of train-like sounds. I was so fascinated by it that I hardly noticed the gardens in the other parts of the yard. Oops! Guess I'm distracted easily.
The other distracting object was the house itself. It was pretty big for the small-ish lot it sat on and you could tell the architecture dated back to probably the 1930's-1940's. There were leaded glass and stained glass windows throughout the house, and I would have given anything to see the inside of it.
As we made our way to the front of the house, we heard other by-standers mention the name "Frank Lloyd Wright", and I thought it did look like that type of house. Then we saw that the house was part of the National Register of Historic Places. Then it clicked that the name of the house was "Wright on Track"... "Wright" not "Right". So, I'm pretty confident it was built by that famous architect (and he happened to be born in Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin).
Moving along to the second house, which happened to be right on the lakefront, it had a beautiful view.
The gardens were lush and layered with a variety of flowers. They were so interesting. I found beautiful flower after beautiful flower to admire. And there were different pathways leading between different parts of the gardens.
This little spot in the middle of the yard was my favorite. The pink and purple flowers drew me in, and I loved the weather vane that sat in the middle.
I could have stayed in that back yard the whole afternoon. It was very inviting.
The 3rd house we visited was just a few blocks off the lake and had a pretty small yard, but the owners had done so much with the space. The front yard was amazing. Again just a great variety of flowers and so many layers. You could see little flowers tucked down in between the big flowers. Surprises everywhere.
There were a lot of lilies planted in both the front and back yards. I counted about 7 different colors but there may have been more. They were breathtaking.
The backyard had little stone path that walked around the edge of the grass to look at the flowers. This area pictured below was a favorite spot of mine. I adore the black iron fence. I love the stone bird house (and there were baby birdies chirping inside). You can see again the pink lilies planted here. Everything looked natural - like no effort was involved in placement. Perfect.
As you took the stone path around to the other side of the yard, you came to a koi pond that had a little waterfall. The sound of the water flowing over the rocks was so relaxing a peaceful. This shows that no matter what size your yard may be, anything is possible if you want it to happen!
The last couple pictures were from the 4th house we visited, and my favorite thing was the tiered garden area in the back yard. This house has a HUGE back yard with gardens around the edges. But this tiered area closer to the house got me. It was interesting and romantic with the little swing at the top. So eye catching and different from anything else we'd seen.
This was my favorite flower at this house. No clue what it is, but I like the shape and color.
While I found these spaces so inspiring, I also know that I don't have the time for maintaining a garden that is anything close to these. However, I gave myself permission to do more variety of flowers and more layers of flowers then I originally planned. We'll see what happens.
So, what do you think of all these flower gardens? Is the effort worth the outcome? Or are you into low maintenance looks? I'm curious.