It has been an Atlanta Mothers Day Tradition for at least a century, so I once again joined the crowds at the annual Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour organized and hosted by the Atlanta Botanical Garden. And just as the 8 years before, it did not disappoint. 10 private gardens are on display, from tranquil city gardens to mansions surrounded by several acres, it is all here and for you to explore. It is magical.
This year, unfortunately, we did not manage to finish the tour due to the rain picking up and my feet telling me it is time to sit down and rest. I may not be “an expert judge of matters of taste”, as connoisseur is defined, but below are my three favorites. May I be an expert judge of matters of my own taste.
1.The Garden of Rob Lamy
We started here and we did well to take our time with this little gem. A beautiful collection of shade perennials, mirrored throughout the garden, give it a peaceful setting. One is tempted to think that, upon the first look, one has seen it all. But you would be mistaken. The textures changes as one walks around for a closer look. Little treasures are revealed, like the reading nook tucked away by the basement stairs.
Inspirational was a large bed of Farfugium Japoincum or Giant Leopard Plant. I have dreamed of those for a while and now I am certain to incorporate them in the future. A short conversation with the owner revealed we share a passion for Hostas and Ferns, which are plenty in this space and help create the feeling of tranquility. I just wanted to sit down, open my book and forget about the rest of the tour. And call the butler for a cup of tea. I am sure they have one. As structured and quaint as it was, it also had the magnificent elegance of a manor house garden.
2.The Garden of Jane Harmon and Mikell Jones
Tucked behind a 1909 build Tudor is a garden much larger then anticipated. A path draped in passion flower vine opens into a courtyard, with a small set of stairs on the side. How much would one expect to find. Just that behind it, is a large garden over several terraces, filled with old woodlands and magnificent trees. The patio of japanese maples was bathed in dappled sunlight. Another set of stairs invited to move on and explore. A beautiful gazebo, newly added, but much kept in style with the house, was a lovely finally to this hidden garden.
3.The Garden of Karla Thievsky and Seth Kirschenbaum
This beautiful and quaint little garden in the middle of Atlanta is filled with the powerhouse plants of southern shade gardens. I want to take all my clients there that complain about the absence of sun in their spaces. To the untrained eye it may appear like a cozy and relaxing sea of green, as my friend called it.But to reach the effect, the owner must be a master of texture and hues. The plants are arranged to play up the changes in leaf structure and the wonderful assortment of greens and grays in nature. In contrast to Rob Lamys gardens much more edited style, this was a garden of a true plant lover and her collection.
And below a few photos from the other great gardens on display. It was another great tour and I am already looking forward to next year.