WARNING: This is a iphone photo heavy post! I didn’t feel the desire, or have the time to edit all the pictures… 😉
The other weekend, my mother and I, accompanied by a very handsome lil’ man in a baby carrier, took part in Modesto’s annual Home and Garden Tour! It was my first time on the tour and was really excited to be able to get some good looks at some of Modesto’s character filled homes and gardens! It had been beautiful weather all week, but of course on the day of the tour it was 90degrees! So we donned our shorts, hats and sunscreen and after a very delicious and calorie filled lunch at Bella Italia, we started our tour!
We were allowed to take as many pictures of the outside gardens as we wanted, but out of respect for the people and their homes, we were not able to take pictures inside.
Tour Program description of Albany Avenue home: “This exuberant garden reflects the exuberant personality of it’s owner. Every nook and cranny has profuse blooms with sumptuous colors and fragrances. The front yard feels like a fairy tale. The back yard is a series of outdoor rooms with conversation areas and seating nestled in the luxuriant blooms.”
This was by far the most whimsical garden on the tour…you wanted to curl up in one of the cozy garden chairs, surrounded by beautiful flowers and just hide away for awhile.
The colors of the flowers were out of this world, and there were so many different kinds! I’m not one to know a lot or even remember when told what a certain flower is, so it was great that I had my own personal “flower fairy” to lead the way! Thanks Mom! 😉
Tour Program description of Stetson Avenue home: “This 1949 house…and garden bring that older bungalow idea of new life with a garden that is water wise. The front garden features informal paths and plants with low water requirements. The house and garden are graced by the colorful and lively paintings of the owner. This charmer is all about joie de vivre- literally, the joy of life…the back garden shows a love of animals and life nurturing plants.”
Although this house and garden were not my style, it was beautiful. To me it had a modern feel with maybe a lil’ Norwegian taste. The little house in the back for her cats was pretty cute; with their own personal cat door and beds, they are treated like feline royalty.
This next home located on Douglas Avenue was MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE! The house screamed elegance with that homey feel and I nearly had a heart attack from kitchen envy! I’m so sad I wasn’t able to take pictures because it was beautiful! The gardens surrounding the home were filled with nothing but white flowers and greenery. I was told that a garden with nothing but white flowers is called a Moon Garden. This is because when there is a full moon, the light reflects off the flowers and makes the garden glow. Almost makes you think twice about buying all that color!
Tour Program Description: “This is ‘Grandma’s garden,’ and there is much to delight both children and adults. A white garden, it is composed of plants that produce white flowers, contrasting sharply with the backdrops of dark green so the flowers stand out.”
The final home on the tour was the Magnolia Avenue “castle” as it has been called, for it truly is a castle. But it was a major let down tour-wise. It was the big ticket item, and everyone was excited to get a glimpse inside its mysterious walls and naturally assumed the gardens would be fantastic. Sadly, we were not allowed inside the home, and the garden seemed dusty and somewhat neglected. Although the tile work in both the pond and pool were a beautiful site to see, we were greatly disappointed. I guess as a little girl growing up in the nearby neighborhood and always riding past the “castle” on my bike, I had created some pretty big expectations for the home. I had pictured a whimsical castle filled with all sorts of beautiful things and a garden to match.
Tour Program description: “This bit of old world charm was built in 1929 for $200,000 by Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Hawke. The couple designed an imposing replica of a Norman castle with a grand arched doorway, a turret with mullioned windows, and a weather vane. The turret is topped by a conical shaped slate roof, and the hipped main roof is also slate and very steep. The back yard tower looks like it was built to defend the property. Listen carefully and you might hear a handsome prince call out, “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your golden hair.”
Overall, From Castles to Cottages tour was amazing! We were able to see such a wide variety of home decor and garden style, with hundreds of different flowers and plants. My mom said it made her want to to go home and garden, lol but I said the tour made me want to go home and MOVE! 😉
One day we will have our dream home, but for now it is just nice to enjoy the creations of others! If you are free next Spring, I would highly suggest taking the tour! You can contact the Modesto Garden Club for more information!
After the tour was over, we fell into Mom’s house, chugged about a gallon of ice water and cooled off in front of the large floor fan. Cohen was a very good baby the entire tour, but was so very happy to be cooled off!