I never miss the annual garden tour sponsored by Valley Churches United. Who wouldn’t be mesmerized by strolling through a beautiful local garden? Plus the proceeds from this fund raiser stay here to provide food and other services to our neighbors in need. This year’s tour is being presented as a virtual video tour and I can assure you it’ll be the best 30 minutes of your day. Enjoy these gardens online at VCUM.org or Valley Churches United Missions Facebook page and please donate to help this worthy cause.
I’ve watched this year’s virtual garden tour several times already. Each time I come away with another great landscaping idea, new tree variety, gardening tip and fresh inspiration. I’ve visited two of the gardens before so I have first hand knowledge of how special they are but the other three were new to me and are fabulous, too. The photography is excellent in the video and I especially enjoyed the aerial photography.
The first garden on the tour is Corbett and Sheri’s Vineyard Garden. This couple, over the past 25 years, have transformed their property into a plant lovers dream. They are truly plant connoisseurs including trees in their garden such as Shishigashira and Full Moon Japanese maples which are trained to show off their exquisite foliage and shape. Among the other beautiful trees that are featured among the different garden rooms are Chinese Fringe tree and the unusual Dove tree which is also called the Hankerchief tree. You’ll see why this tree is so named when you watch the video. This garden is filled with color from exbury azaleas, smoke bush, roses and Plum Delight loropetaum as well as a generous serving of white flowering shrubs like doublefile viburnum. Sitting areas, patios and water features abound amidst the veggie garden and the vineyard. This garden and the others will be featured on next year’s actual garden tour in May so don’t miss it.
Barry’s Garden is called the Forest Garden although the redwoods are just a part of this lovely garden. Barry bought the Tudor house in 2000 and has transformed it into a wonderland filled with beautiful paths, a formal garden in the front, a pond, 71 tree orchard, potting shed, green house, vegetable garden, shade pergola, gazebo and many other features that make this garden user and loved by his two dogs.
Jim and Irene Cummins Iris Farm is one of those places you could spend all day and never see everything. I’ve spent a bit of time painting in this garden. Beside the stunning bearded iris the Cummins grow and propagate, this couple have collected an impressive collection of farm implements and tools. The property was originally a turkey farm owned by Irene’s family back in 1949 but the old barn dates back to the late 1800’s when it was a stop for the stagecoaches to change horses. This property is filled with hundreds of bird houses which Irene collects and everywhere you turn there are blooming irises among vintage collectibles.
Robby’s Zen Garden is another garden I’ve had the pleasure to visit often. This talented gardener is eager to share his vision and techniques to keep it mole and gopher free. As a deer resistant, low maintenance gardener Robby has created a soothing space complete with a hand made Japanese garden arch called a Tori. His shade garden is filled with tree ferns and the sitting area under the oaks beckons you to stop and enjoy the birds. There is a fire pit area plus a tree swing to enjoy before you head up to the rock garden and the cactus garden. This year round garden features tough but beautiful plants and there is something to admire everywhere you turn.
The last garden on the virtual tour is the Pool Garden of Robert and Monica. Some interesting facts about this garden include how the existing rock was jack hammered out for the pool and patio area. Heavy equipment scarred the rock and the rock that remains, which serves as a retaining wall, looks like it came straight from the Sierra. Filled with lavender, lantana, red hot poker, Monica’s grandmother’s bearded iris and other hummingbird attractors this garden beckons you to stop by the pool under the vine covered pergola and enjoy a cold beverage.
This is just a snippet of inspiration and ideas you’ll glean from these gardens on the virtual tour. Please donate what you can to help the food pantry of Valley Churches United.