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We welcomed spring surrounded by lovely gardens, immersed in appealing gardening ideas.
We enjoyed a day with people who love gardening and gardens as much as we do.
The Society arranged, on Sunday, June 7th, to make available to the community an exciting collection of six local gardens.  These gardens, each with a different theme, were chosen for their unique qualities and to provide an interesting cross section of the plantings and designs available in the area.
The gardeners were all available at each of the sites to discuss their plants and plans.
Thank you to our Sponsors who have made this Garden Tour possible.

The 2015 Gardens

1.  Living in the Garden

    The organic and biodynamic gardens of 13 Harbor Crest Court have been a project of love for Randy A. Statham, of Scarsella’s Flowers Greenhouses & Home, and his partner Andrew Pettersen.  When they purchased the property ten years ago, there was one weeping cherry and one Japanese maple.  It has now been transformed into a series of beautiful outdoor rooms to cater to the views and the changing seasons.

    As you approach the driveway you are greeted by an allee of clump birch, under planted with Hinoke cypress, white rhododendrons, English laurels, and variegated Liriope.  Step onto the cedar boardwalk and pass thru a 25’ x 14’ arched metal arbor that house a collection of vines, surrounded by clipped boxwood.  Notice the oriental rain chain fountain near the cedar front entry.  A view of the Harbor is unveiled.

    As you approach the stone boulder arbor, pause for a second and enjoy the echo from your voice.  The octagonal chicken coop will be in sight, and you will be greeted by the “girls”, Thelma & Louise, Wilma, Charlotte, Penelope, and Wanda.  On the right you will find the formal organic vegetable garden and garden shed.  Enjoy the sounds, sights, and scents of the garden, and the way the plants work together forming a tapestry of color and textures.  The large yellow stucco home, in the distance, is built on the foundation of the Ferguson Castle.  The entry gates at the bottom of the precipice are part of the original property. 

    When you arrive at the pool and dining area you can enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the harbor.  Notice the NY Bluestone Monolith dining table and the delightful outdoor shower.  As you exit the garden, via the Bluestone stepping stones, enjoy the shrub and perennial borders.

2 The Mediterranean Garden       

    This Mediterranean-style home, built by Julius Lehrenkrauss in 1915 as a summer retreat from New York City for himself and his family, was nearly unrecognizable when purchased in 1996 by Bill and Delphine Barron. The garden was covered in ivy and completely overgrown (an old VW Beetle was even found buried in the yard), they had to begin their landscaping from scratch.

    Today, their garden is the result of 19 years of work, including a pool installation in 2007. For the garden only organic products are used, and no fertilizer. While Bill and Delphine have planned it so different flowers bloom at different times of the year, at the time of this tour, one will see irises, lilies, peonies, and an abundance of climbing roses. This makes for a beautiful outdoor area enjoyed by themselves, their three daughters, and two dogs.

    In this elegant garden overlooking Huntington Harbor, relax with a cool drink and a sweet treat.  On the lovely veranda visit the Garden Boutique, ponder the possibilities of new plants, browse the exciting collection of gift certificates, discover an amusing treasure.

3.  The Sweet Cottage Garden

    This sweet stucco home, full of old world details, was built in 1936 and purchased by Susan Miller in 2007.  She lovingly brought the house back to life, after years of neglect.  There was no garden, just a lawn in the back, and Susan wanted more.  She reached out to Karen Marks, garden designer of The Compleat Garden, to create a welcoming space which brings a smile each time she returns home from her busy day.

    The side entrance is a small collection of special plants surrounding a corylus, commonly called Harry Lauder's Walking Stick.  It provides interest all year long with it's contorted branches.  The climbing roses are growing to create a living frame around the door.  

    To create a decorative entrance to the back yard, an arch was erected and surrounded by beds on either side.  Perennials and annuals surround roses and crepe myrtle.  The large stones placed on the property line by the neighbor behind offers a backdrop which is softened by the many grasses and trailing ground covers that drip over the edge.  A red bench adds that pop to the garden, a special touch by Susan herself, which offers a spot for her to sit and drink in the wonders of her garden, created just for her.

4.  The Pond Garden

    The Pond House in Greenlawn is a replica of a historic home in Topsfield, Massachusetts, the 1863 Parson Capon House, which still stands today.

    As you enter the driveway, you will see a koi pond with many varieties of fish and water plants.  Fishing wire is stretched in a web over the pond to keep out marauding herons and egrets.

The extensive perennial gardens at the rear of the home are arranged in a great amphitheater.  They were started about 14 years ago and are surrounded by very old mountain laurel and many woodland plants.  There are many places to sit and enjoy nature throughout.  Take a moment to read the bronze plaque.

“The Kiss of the sun for pardon

The song of the birds for mirth

One is nearer God’s heart in a garden

Than anywhere else on earth.”

    Continue to the Lattice Garden with its roses and climbing vines.  As you leave, be sure see the great bronze eagle sculpture over the garage doors.  The sculpture dates from the early 1900s, weighs 1200 lbs. and once stood at a government building.

5.  The Pineapple Palace

 One might ask why this mid century split level home is called the Pineapple Palace! Well the reason is twofold- first the collection of pineapples by the owner over the past 30 years, and secondly because the pineapple as the symbol of welcome and hospitality speaks to the spirit of this house and its' owners.! So Welcome! 

    We moved here almost 40 years ago. The landscaping was typical of the period and the backyard had a small patio (where the wisteria covered trellis is) and some large old trees which generally just shaded the property! But the new owner had a plan! And soon things started evolving and continue to evolve today!

    After entering through the south gate, follow the stepping stones and explore the Secret Hideout( a favorite of our grandsons) or go through the weathered arbor and you will see what we call the lower patio with the focal point being the Pineapple Fountain! Much entertaining goes on here not only in spring and summer, but on into the fall! The pots are planted every year and add wonderful color to the ever green backdrop! Continue past the gazebo and you will arrive at Tina's garden , a memorial garden to my mother, with a fish and turtle pond surrounded by boxwoods, and lovingly planted for continuous blooms through each season. Finally peak at the upper patio with junipers  surrounding the pool, enhanced with more colorful pots as well as herbs and vegetables. Before exiting the north gate  you will pass the hot tub which we use year round! As you follow the path you will pass the rhododendron and azalea garden !

    Just a side note everything you see has been constructed, planted , and lovingly maintained by us!

    Thank you for allowing us to share our garden with you! We hope you enjoyed your time here!

6.  The Park Retreat

    When we moved here in 1990 we saw a potential for a wooded retreat amongst the large oaks despite the overgrowth, rusting swing sets and half buried engines and transmission.  The creation of the pond system was a labor of love.  Following the contours of the earth, we sculpted the terrain into a cascade of water features, carving out a series of ponds and linked them with flowing streams.  We used liners to keep the water on its course, surrounded by rocks, stones and boulders and then added a pump to the lowest pond creating a circulation system up to the stream source and back again.  Now we have an ecosystem that sustains birds, frogs and fish that visit and inhabit our garden.

    Our garden has been shaped and reshaped over time. Our largely perennial garden frames nature to show its contrasts. Although it has a beginning and an end, an entry and exit, our garden seems never to be completed.  Gardens invite us to stop and stay a while. The view, sounds and smells surround us with tranquility.  We invite you, not to hurry through, identifying plants but to see the whole garden and its design and to listen to the music of the flowing water and its changes depending on where you are.

“Sitting quietly, doing nothing, spring comes, and the grass grows by itself.”

Scenes from the Tour

1.  Living in the Garden
2.  The Mediterranean Garden
3.  The Sweet Cottage Garden
4.  The Pond Garden
5.  The Pineapple Palace
6.  The Park Retreat
Ticket Sales at Kissam
Refreshments and Botique at the Mediterranean Garden