The most rewarding part of creating the Garden Tour online this year has been the ability to include non-local gardens.  A virtual tour allows you to see gardens in Utah, Colorado, England and France, as well as the California gardens you will see today.  These photos from Shawna's garden in South Orange County, California, left me wanting to see more.  She has a definite eye with the camera!

Shawna's Garden

Structural plantings - Shawna's garden

garden bell - Shawna's garden

fabulous climbing Eden roses - Shawna's garden

close up of Eden roses - Shawna's garden

Not too far from Shawna's garden is our next garden
Betty's garden is beautiful and organized
She is an avid gardener and a member of her local garden club

Betty's Garden

Betty's garden - bird of paradise

Betty's garden - bougainvillea

Betty's front walkway

Betty's inviting front walkway includes this bench and pots of fern, ivy and begonias

curly ivy
as well as wall mounted pots of this unique curly ivy.  Here is her commentary on her garden:

. . .the curly ivy growing in the pots on the wall leading to the front door, all started from one tiny little plant obtained from the garden club some years back.
It loves this spot as well as in the shady area on the side of my house.

bettys garden pots
The begonias are looking really good, in the front is a beautiful pink dragon wing variety, in the back are several pots filled with plain old begonias but they are spilling over the pots, there is also an angel wing variety that has beautiful pink blooms that was a gift from my garden club friend who started it from a cutting from her plant, almost forgot the beautiful red dragon wing begonia right outside the door that can be enjoyed from inside as well as out in the garden.

assorted geraniums
The geraniums are really blooming this year. This is a grouping near the fire pit of pink ribbon, white and a beautiful dark lavender Martha Washington. There is a very pretty coral colored one tucked in our tree on the side of the house and others here and there along with two rose scented geraniums and one that is called Rose Geranium which blooms with pink clusters that look just like small roses.


coral geranium

The hydrangeas are now in full bloom. They are planted in the same area as the cymbidium orchids, this year the orchids bloomed first and were just beautiful, yellow, green and dusky dark pink. When the orchids go away the hydrangas are there for us to enjoy.

The companulas in the hanging basket along with some grape ivy looks really pretty right now. Below the hanging basket in the pot is another companula that is also blooming right now. Both of these were purchased from Trader Joe's and brought to cheer up Grandma when she was in rehab and brought home when they withered.  I planted them in my garden where they are a nice reminder of her spirit.

white iceberg roses
The roses are finished with their first bloom all except the iceberg by the front door which just keeps blooming.

herb pots
I have discovered that the best sunshine is in the front of the house so I have been growing vegetables in pots in the front, this winter the lettuce was in abundance. I now have cucumber and peppers along with parsley in the window box that grows all year long.

begonias at the front door
I have also been introducing succulents into my garden, I find their shapes and colors really interesting and they look really good integrated in with other things in the garden. You will notice the pot by the front door has Scabiosa which is doing really well, they were brought home as cuttings from our field trip to Casa Romantica in San Clemente.

Betty and Shawna, it looks just beautiful.  thanks for sharing it with us!

Did you really think I could give a garden tour without adding something creative?

How adorable is this chicken wire moss heart?  I can picture it on a gate, or lying casually on a little side table.  Simply cut chicken wire into a heart shape - about 3 inches larger than you want your moss heart to be when finished.  (You will need to cut two - tin snips should do the trick).  Using gloves to protect your hands, fold the edges of the hearts over each other, creating a pocket (leave one portion open. large enough to stick your hand in,  to insert the moss).  Using your gloved hand, puff the shape out from the inside until it looks the way you want it to.  Fill it with green sheet moss and close the edges.  If needed, use wire to secure the two hearts together.  Add a little wire hanging loop - and embellish a little if you want! So cute!

How genius is this little chandelier made from a wire basket and some chandelier crystals you can pick up on ebay.  This basket had a center handle, but if you can't find one with a handle, a few lengths of chain from Lowes (or your local home improvement store) on 3 sides with a hook to join them at the top will create the same effect.  A few jewelry jump rings for fastening the crystals (or some more wire) and some jelly jars to hold candles and your project is complete!  You could spray it white or a rusty color for a more shabby look.  Great for an outdoor party or alfresco dining!

Blackboard paint, available at your  home improvement store, around the top rim of a terracotta pot, creates a place to record what herb is planted - as well as looking darn cute.  Once the paint is on and dried (may take two coats), simple chalk is all that is needed to label your herbs.

I also love this idea of a succulent garden under glass, at the same time creating something useful, like a side table for a seating area.  You will need an urn that is tall enough to be a side table - and if your earn is super large you may want to fill the bottom half with styrofoam peanuts so it doesn't get too heavy to move.  Make sure it has a drainage hole at the bottom, covered by a broken pot shard or some screening so it does not get plugged.  Add a good few inches of gravel on top of that, and then your cactus or succulent mix.  Succulents don't have very deep root systems, but they do need good drainage - or they will ROT.  Plant with succulents (low growing varieties) and top with a glass round (home improvement store again).  As for the watering - succulents need a good drenching about once a week - but under glass it may be different.  Just remember, they need to dry out between waterings, and if you see that the glass is cloudy or has a moisture build up, remove it for a little while and let that evaporate before returning the glass to the top. 

See you tomorrow for a very special garden tour.


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