Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Grand Gardens

This past weekend, we attended Through the Garden Gate, a gardening tour series organized by the Piedmont Master Gardeners.  The gardens of Cathy and Chirs Kramer were open to the public and the tour was hosted by the Monticello Gardening Club.

Climbing Hydrangea, one of my favorites.
It was an overcast day with periods of light misty rain but that did not dampen the experience, it only enhanced the vibrant colors in abundance around every corner.  If there was a weed in sight, I certainly didn't give notice to it as the plant diversity held my attention and kept my mind occupied. 

Sometimes you visit a place that you would never want to leave, an oasis, this is one of those special places.  A garden retreat nestled in meticulously tidy woods with pastoral and mountain views

Poppy pods nearly ready to bloom.
I can't begin to name the thousands of plant species that surrounded and overwhelmed my senses but a few that were memorable were Climbing Hydrangea, Clematis and Ivy, native Columbine, Spiderwort, Roses, Peony, Ajuga, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Kousa Dogwood, Japanese Maple, Foxglove, Poppies, Sedums, Coral Bells, Phlox, and Succulents.

This is a garden that I would love to visit with each passing season, to capture the early spring bulbs, summer bold colors, and glorious fall tree foliage.  This was one of the top private gardens I have visited.

We must have spent several hours roaming the grounds but eventually we departed heading for lunch on the downtown mall at the The Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar.  We were pleasantly surprised to discover the best salad in Charlottesville.  The Bazaar Salad was visually appealing and delicious.  Colorful specialty greens were surrounded by small sliced tomatoes and cucumbers topped with yellow raisins, feta cheese, julienned carrots, pears, and candied walnuts (made in house), and finally drizzled with a delicate Ginger Dressing.  Served with a side of perfectly toasted Pita Triangles.  It all melded together so well and each bite was delectable.  We also discovered their really cute outside back porch that looks out toward Monticello (you do have to stand against the wall and squint but it is there).


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