Bloomington Garden Walk June 5-6 offers hidden landscaping treasures
Embedded in a flower bed, the words engraved on a stone seem to say it best: “An hour in the garden puts life’s problems in perspective.”
When I did a preview tour of the 30th Annual Summer Garden Walk with members of the Bloomington Garden Club in May 2019, we had no idea what was ahead. Then hit COVID.
When much of the world closed, the 2020 Garden Walk was canceled. That didn’t mean the flowers stopped blooming, the trees stopped leafing, the birds stopped singing, and the gardeners stopped gardening.
In fact, many people may have spent even more time outside in their ports than usual. I know I got into hillside landscaping that I had put off for years. Spending more time at home wasn’t wasted.
Now the 31st Annual Summer Garden Walk is back and ready to showcase some of Bloomington’s beautiful gardens. The five gardens on this year’s walk are gorgeous and very diverse. I wrote down ideas of what to do with my own country.
On Saturday, June 5th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Sunday, June 6, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., take part in rain or shine to enjoy the paradises that the garden will often not overlook Be open to visitors. Tour tickets have a card and the $ 10 ticket is good for both days, which gardens can be viewed in any order.
Each garden reflects the personality of the people who live there, and each garden offers some wonderful surprises. To give a clue as to the treasures that can be found in the five gardens, the members of the Garden Club have compiled information for these brief previews. Thanks for your knowledge of everything that grows in these home gardens.
At the front of this house is a lined bed made of simple red geraniums. But the story behind the flowers reflects the friendliness of the man who lives here. When a local 4-H club member called to ask if the homeowner would like to buy geraniums for a 4-H fundraiser, the man immediately said he would take 150. Then the girl’s father called to check that huge number. The following year, the homeowner ordered 200 more geraniums from the same 4-H member and has been doing so ever since.
The 1954 Usonian masterpiece for Garden One was designed by Charles Miller, the former instrument maker at Indiana University’s Geological Institute. The new owner bought the “concrete hut” in April 2013 and moved in January 2015 after extensive renovation. This garden has an innovative 12-zone irrigation system that reduces wasted time and water.
As the homeowner notes, weed control in his front yard required a backhoe and a landscaping crew. Even so, the homeowner was able to implement his primary design concept, which he calls the “Count Rugan Plan”, known for the villain in “The Princess Bride”. The Count apologized to the hero he was about to torture because his torture device had not been tested and said: “But let’s just start with what we have.” This is how this unusual garden began.
Peaceful beauty reigns in this garden of “ordinary” plants that the owner says were not professionally designed but “just happened.” The homeowner emphasizes that her garden is made up of plants that anyone can easily buy and grow. But the result, under her skill and talented eye, is an exceptionally mature garden.
The garden, which was started 40 years ago, offers herbaceous and woody plants that have been combined to form lush green beds and a seasonal flowering sequence. The garden got a boost in 2020 when the owner’s son left the New York pandemic to stay with his parents and routinely finished each day of remote computer work by gardening enthusiastically.
He discovered old stepping stones that meander through a lovely garden island in the lawn and are lined with a row of plants, including multi-colored thimbles that rise like exclamation marks. Look for the wooden bench the son carried in a spot overlooking the garden. The bank is the best place to see this wonderland.
There are many artistic accents in this garden that offer interesting “little moments” from a multitude of painted tree trunks, geodes and rocks. A crack from a fallen tree has been creatively painted to become a watermelon slice. A light blue “bottle tree” brings more color and a waterfall in the backyard gives the creative garden a calming sound effect.
The site, which was built in 1987 on what was then a very shady plot of land, has been exposed to the sun in recent years by removing around eight large, diseased trees. Stumps of various sizes were kept and used as plant stands. Note the broken ceramic pots and worn ceramic hands resting on a tree stump.
There are numerous small redbud saplings along the driveway. Broken ceramic pots are used to mark and protect the seedlings. When the seedlings reach a certain size, they are given by the generous gardener.
What to do if your home is on a busy street with limited parking and a steeply sloping back yard? For over a quarter of a century this homeowner has turned the barriers of her property into a beautiful sanctuary where guests are welcomed to congregate.
One of the first projects was the creation of a round drive made of punched concrete so that motorists could drive forward instead of going back when exiting. A courtyard area in front of the house is adorned with a lighted foundation, serviceberry trees, decorative pots of evergreen plants and perennials, and a stunning, beautiful pink climbing rose, Zephirine Drouhin, that thrives in the shade. Take time to enjoy a large, succulent boulder before heading back.
The creative homeowner turned this sloping plot into a lovely patio area with imaginative places to sit and enjoy. A pavilion with two cozy swings, a fireplace and a cell fan is a joy in every season. Elsewhere there are dining areas, a bar, a built-in grill, plenty of seating, and a thermal bath. On the lower level, a rock stream was created with a top pot flowing with a purple perennial. Also included is a bird bath surrounded by irises.
These homeowners wanted their home to have a natural area with a British park feel to it. The first thing to do was address a water problem caused by a sloping plot of land that allowed runoff from neighboring homes to flow freely. The result is that all of the paving stones, including the driveway, are made of irregularly shaped concrete paving stones that are treated like stone and laid on a porous base to allow rainwater to penetrate the ground.
On the east side of the front yard, a wide gravel path leads to a garden gate and acts as an overflow, directing the drain down the slope, where it is led under the sidewalk by a drain pipe. The garden is a veritable arboretum and offers the soothing sounds of a waterfall and pond where both koi and frogs live. The pond has two bubblers that prevent the water from freezing solid in winter.
Wildlife lovers, these homeowners have fenced in deer but taken extra care to welcome other animals. When a squirrel with an injured leg had trouble reaching seeds in a bird feeder, the homeowner built a “squirrel ladder” and attached it to the bird feeder. Although the squirrel is no longer in the apartment, a striped chipmunk is now climbing the ladder to gain access to the feeder. Close to the koi pond is a specially built “squirrel hotel” and a “squirrel picnic table” where the squirrels can sit and eat plenty of squirrel food.