Secret Gardens Revealed

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Photo by Jerry Pickard

By Sarah Phillips

The 2013 Secret Gardens of Lake Forest Park Garden Tour and Plant Sale was a huge success. More garden enthusiasts than ever toured the gardens and attended the plant sale.

The hallmark of the tour every year is the surprise gardens. The delightful surprises are revealed behind gates and in backyards all over Lake Forest Park.

This year was no different. Walking behind a small green home, visitors were invited into a large mature garden with a stream running through the property. A guesthouse set aside for reading provided a refuge from everything.

Potting shed
Photo by Jerry Pickard

If you were lucky enough to be there when Peter Ali, the flute player, serenaded visitors you were in for a real pleasure. The music wafted over the meadow enhancing the visit to the garden.

Music was a treat in Armond and Walters’ garden too. Dan Voetmann played the guitar and sang as visitors strolled in the garden; his deep-throated voice filled the neighborhood with music and invited visitors to enjoy music and the gardens.

This crowded garden full of statuary and plants was an indulgence. No matter where you looked there were whimsical statuary, wandering paths, and delightful surprises.

One of the surprises in the “dog garden”  was the notion of going from room to room.  The compact garden featured space for chickens and dogs, and also had lots of places to delight guests.

Photo by Jerry Pickard

Two gardens rounded out the tour: one featured an entryway flanked by bollards from the old elephant enclosure from the zoo with compactly planted flowers and shrubs. The garden highlighted shade plantings and was filled with delightful garden art.

The final garden highlighted a way to manage rainwater from the roof with a rain garden. Water runoff was directed to a depressed garden filled with native plants and slowly percolated through the soil mimicking the natural manner water is absorbed.

Water feature
Photo by Jerry Pickard

Four of the gardens were Certified Wildlife Habitats demonstrating ways to blend gardens, birds, chickens, dogs and rainwater. These secret places revealed beauty and ingenuity in small and large spaces, in mature and new gardens. And just wait to see what surprises are in store for next year.

The proceeds of the tour support four local organizations and public art in Lake Forest Park.  If you are interested in joining the garden tour committee, or if you know of a garden the tour should consider for next year, email the garden committee


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