Secret Gardens of the Emerald Coast Garden Tour
SAVE THE DATE
May 18 & 19, 2019 from 10 AM – 4 PM
Highlights of The Secret Garden Tour 2018
The Secret Gardens Tour Committee selected seven unique and beautiful private residential gardens, selected for their creativity, use of native plants, stunning garden features and interesting horticulture specimens.
You are welcomed to Garden #1 by a block fence covered in creeping fig and a porch banister with a fish motif to complement the Key West Cottage-style home. The brick paver walkway, referred to as “holy bricks” by the homeowners, was created with old pavers from St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church. Other “reclaimed and recycled” features include arched iron gates, wood sheds with original porcelain-and-glass door knobs and key hole plates, a mounted lantern from the old Bayou Chico draw bridge, and wrought iron pieces gifted from the historic Seville Quarter complex. Fruit trees such as Meyer lemon, satsuma, ruby red grapefruit, pear, and plum adorn the landscape. Multiple flowerbeds hold rosemary, amaryllis, day lilies, Lily of the Nile, and white and blue hydrangeas. At the far end of the backyard is a “dipping pool,” perfect for relaxing.
At Garden #2 sits a 1941 renovated home and garden on a large corner lot with a 360-degree walking pattern. This garden was created with sumptuous curved beddings, filled with an abundance of color, beautiful stone pathways, hanging lanterns from shading oak trees, and a whimsical iron sculptured bench with two seated children. Attendees will stroll through five themed gardens: The Imagination Garden, The Lantern Garden, The Diversity Garden, a true “Secret Garden,” and The Italian Garden. Not to be missed is the recently installed 80-piece glass art sculpture “Over the Rainbow.”
In the third garden on the tour the homeowners concentrate on growing edibles, much as the Italians do, as a wood-fired pizza oven and a pergola with climbing white roses anchor the landscape. Two towering Italian cypress flank the dining terrace. Terraced landscaping in raised flower beds are constructed of CXS railroad ties that floated into the yard after Hurricane Ivan. Vegetables, herbs, and flowers are all grown organically. A variety of fruit trees, including oranges, pineapple guava, pomegranate, peach, pear, and plum dot the landscape. Several varieties of blueberries and fig trees can be found throughout the property. Cascading rosemary is placed in large pottery urns, ready for clippings to be added to the products of the pizza oven.
Garden #4 – This home was built on the natural springs lake, with a backyard that slopes dramatically to a reverse wall to control erosion. A dock provides easy access for fishing. The stunning North Alabama stone staircase with multiple patio landings connects the house and lawn area. The front curb appeal is achieved with an explosion of seasonal color in curved beds, provided by well-established coral drift roses, Purple Pixie dwarf loropetalum, Veronica Sunny Border Blue, varied shades of SunPatiens, and lavender. Placed throughout are several sizes of flat rock formations. A Tamukeyama Japanese Maple and two larger Bloodgood Japanese Maples frame the traditional brick home and are lovely statement specimens.
The UF/IFAS Extension Escambia County Demonstration Gardens is our Garden #5. Attendees can stroll through a total of nine themed garden areas featuring a wide variety of plants and garden types. A wonderful resource for all community residents, the extension-trained Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer your gardening questions. Grow houses hold the propagation area, and the Bog and Sensory Garden includes educational features for adaptive gardening ideas and gardening inspiration for youth.
A canopy of sprawling oak trees invite you into this spacious, shaded country garden filled with palms, cycads, and fern. Over 30 varieties of palms and cycads can be found in the landscaped garden and growing area at the back of the property. Behind the front door is a 2-story atrium which houses a fishtail palm, a paradise palm, and a king palm along with bromeliads and other foliage plants, all of which can be viewed from the living spaces in the house to bring the outside in all year long. A beautiful Texas magnolia was gifted to the homeowners in the 1980’s. Its leaves measure between 20-24 inches, and the petal of the bloom is similarly large.
Garden #7 was a “Greenhouse Tour,” focusing on a stunning collection of cacti and succulents. The beautifully constructed greenhouse holds a variety of specimens in terra cotta clay pots. Enhance your appreciation of arid climate vegetation in this environment-controlled grower’s paradise.
There is something for every gardener, and several creative ideas you will want to implement in your own home garden. Be sure to join us on this the 2019 Garden Tour!