Historic Garden Tour

This past Saturday I joined the Carson City Historical Society (CCHS) for their annual garden tour and visited six of the 12 amazing gardens.

One stop on the tour was a gated backyard with a lush colorful secret garden, beautifully planted, manicured and accented with deep blue garden art. While the beauty looked effortless, the owners have had their challenges. Before planting the yard, they had dug down 12 inches around the entire garden and buried screening to keep out the rabbits. The fencing is high to keep out the deer. But, what a Zen-like retreat!

Another garden was located in the historic district at a house built in the 1880s. In a garden sheltered by old trees, the owners have lovingly restored plants that had been there for decades, including old roses, fruit trees and wisteria. They encourage historic plants such as bouncing Bet, hollyhocks and love-in-the-mist to thrive in their yard. I felt like I had stepped back in time.

Also in the historic district under old cottonwood trees, was a tiny, but exquisite, garden of peonies, hollyhocks, poppies and Queen Anne’s lace. I was so impressed with the delightful displays artfully arranged throughout this garden. There was an old bike parked as if waiting for its owner to ride away with its basket of flowers. An old wheelbarrow was filled with blooms. A terra cotta container of petunias rested on an old woven chair next to a pair of gardening gloves as if waiting for a bit of attention. A shovel hanging on a wall had flowers planted on it in a cage of moss. Not only were the flowers and displays joys to look at, but even the daily working tools and hoses were neatly displayed on a wall.

One of the most impressive sites, because of its massive scale, was a home up in Lakeview with the most extensive hardscaping I have seen. The terracing was outstanding and expansive, using blocks, rocks or decorative concrete. Walkways, stairways, benches and sculptures greeted you throughout. Whoever designed the waterfalls and ponds deserves great praise for how these features complement and augment the site. This garden had striking sequoias and other trees, including topiaries to add to the overall effect. To top it off, they had great views of Washoe Lake.

If you missed the tour, be sure to go next year. In the meantime, you can join the Historical Society or donate to CCHS at Post Office Box 1864, Carson City, 89702.