A few weeks ago, one of my neighbors suggested that it would be neat to have a tour of some of the gardens on our block, but that she didn't have the time to organize it herself...and suddenly I found myself planning a garden tour.
We ended up with ten gardens on the tour (including ours). Other neighbors offered to help, so I assigned one the task of creating a flyer to be sure we also reached folks who aren't on the e-mail list, and another neighbor picked up a bunch of Grow Green guides to hand out and put together a list of gardening resources -- local nurseries, organizations that offer free classes, etc. Each neighbor with a house on the tour sent me a description of their garden, which I worked into a brochure about the tour (with the gardening resources on the other side).
Most home/garden tours are arranged so that the homeowners sit at the house the whole time, with tourgoers coming by at will during the tour hours, but that means folks in the tour can't go on the tour. Instead, we all met at one house and spent about ten minutes there before moving on to the next house on the list. Although ten minutes doesn't seem very long, it worked out great.
One of our newest neighbors is growing vegetables in these lovely raised beds:
This was the most modern garden on the tour. I love the use of space.
And the fence.
Who knew kids are such fans of birdbaths?
The beds in this front yard were reworked so there would be less lawn. The agaves and yuccas are just the thing to transform it from a sea of St. Augustine to Austin-appropriate.
This garden is exploding with wildflowers right now. I'm in love with the poppies!
The owners told us they just spread some seeds a few years ago, and now they reap the rewards every spring.
The latest lawn-minimization project:
The tour was organized so that everyone only had to cross the street twice. Safety first!
Did I mention the amazing live oaks on our street? We hope our little live oak will look like this someday:
A grandmother whose grandchildren also live on the block has the most amazing backyard for adults and kids alike.
In addition to a gazebo, attractive planting beds, and a dry creek bed...
...there's a fairy garden!
The tour wrapped up at the playhouse I featured last week, with cookies, lemonade, and some of my favorite people.
The tour went off without a hitch -- except for the unseasonably warm weather, but that was nothing a hat and some sunscreen couldn't fix.