Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Field Trip - Private Garden Tour - Part Two

As I mentioned yesterday, Donna's front garden is planted with all white flowers. But the back gardens, which sweep away from house are punched with color. The peony that we saw yesterday is one of the more colorful. They were originally in a 40-foot bed and that's alot of peonies!

Here are the hollyhocks, which were also among the original plantings. These aren't blooming yet, but they are colorful and happy flowers.


Here's a lovely rustic birdhouse bench that's just next to the old milk house. That's another hollyhock on the left, with the large leaves. Donna's garden is planted so that there's something in bloom throughout the summer.


Inside the milk house Donna has created a vignette of dried flowers and a garden sign.


Here's the milk house. The open farm fields are just behind that row of evergreens.


Ferns were also on the grounds when Donna moved in and these have been split and relocated to several areas including this nice display next to the horse barn.


Here's a hydrangea next to a colorful petunia. I don't know about you but I've never had luck with hydrangeas. These flourish!


The view from the back of the property if so lovely. It just draws you in, the gardens nestling close to the house.


If you have a copy of Cottage Living you'll recognize the corn crib. Unfortunately the clematis vines that are shown climbing up the sides did not survive the winter and Donna has had to replant and start from scratch. Such are the challenges that a gardener faces.


The hundreds of irises that encircle the corn crib are from one single clump that was given to Donna over 20 years ago.

Another look at those peonies putting on their show.


Star of Persia.


And another look at the beautiful plantings along the path leading to the back of the home.


Yesterday someone asked if Donna maintained these gardens by herself. Here's her answer:

"I do have help once a month with trim work, weeds, etc. I do cut grass and weed myself. And depending on the weather, I water (by hand) alot."

I'd like to thank Donna for graciously agreeing to open her gardens for a private tour just for the readers of "At Home...". The beauty of her garden is that no matter when you visit you'll be greeted by something beautiful. Believe me, as a midwesterner, even the garden in winter is stunning.

I'd also like to thank my readers for coming along for a little slice of rural Illinois. I hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I did. I'm feeling all inspired. Perhaps tomorrow I'll go out and pull some weeds!


Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

Just a charming home and gardens. I love that last photo of the beautiful window that overlooks the garden. How awful about the clematis that didn't overwinter...discouraging! Glad that your friend does have some help...this must be a nearly full-time occupation.

Chris is *Refining Life* said...

How lovely it must be to wander down the paths in the early morning, cup of coffee in hand, watching the garden awake!

I have thoroughly enjoyed this garden tour!

Thank you Donna & Suzanne!

Mary said...

Oh what a wonderful garden. I can tell that an awful lot of love and creativity have gone into the making of it. Please thank Donna for sharing it with us!

Marie Reed said...

Your garden is just bursting with life and charm!

pp said...

The last picture with the walkway is wonderful. I can't believe that woman takes care of that entire place almost entirely by herself.

Judy said...

I love garden tours...thanks for sharing! And what a beautiful place.

I'm touring show gardens in our area on Saturday...private gardens that are being opened to the public as part of a fund raiser.

Jill said...

Wow, that home and garden is absolutely lovely!

Suzanne said...

Vee - With the winters here in Northern Illinois you resign yourself to some loss. When you put in new plants you usually lecture them..."Sink or swim. You're gonna need to be tough." HA.

Chris - Surrounded by cornfields, it's an incredibly peaceful place. However, development is moving in. Sigh.

Mary - Yes! Donna is very creative and energetic. She's very enthusiastic and positive.

Marie -OH...I could ONLY WISH that this were my garden.

PP - I know. It's an amazing testament to her love of this gardening and the work involved.

Judy -Don't you just love those garden tours? I've been on many myself. The scout who pitched this property to the editors of Cottage Living actually found it on a local garden tour.

Jill - Yes, it's magical.

Thanks to everyone who joined me on this garden tour. I will pass along your thanks to Donna.

- Suzanne

Jerusalem said...

That is like something out of a dream! Beautiful! Also, have I told you how much I LOVE your new header?

Suzanne said...

Jerusalem - thanks! I decided that I didn't have time to cobble together those banners and secondly I decided that I needed something professionally designed. In steps Shannon from EightCrazy Designs. She was a dream to work with. I wonder how she can read minds because I certainly didn't give her much to work with as far as direction. I gave her some images and some old family papers (those are in the background). I thought the farm girl was so cute!

Thanks for visiting. - Suzanne

Rue said...

So beautiful!!

I have trouble with the hydrangeas too. I put in 5 last year and they all died. Very very sad.

Robyn said...

What a treat! I so enjoyed the tour, thank you Suzanne.

BTW I dig a handful of rusty nails into the soil around my hydrangeas and the flowers become the deepest most beautiful violet blue.