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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Beyond the Garden Gates - 2016

This year, because of the 🎶rain🎶, we split the Frederick Beyond the Garden Gates tour into two days hoping the second day we wouldn't get drenched.  But that was not to be.  It did make for some great photographs, though.  Gardens always look better in the rain.  Plus, it wasn't a thunderstorm so it all worked out.  Saturday we toured the houses that required driving between houses beginning with this one.  I'm including the tour booklet's write-up for each house we toured.

800 Carroll Parkway 
This family-oriented garden provides ample space for the homeowners’ three sons to enjoy pick-up sports and to dig in the earth.  The nearly one acre plot was originally part of a dairy farm that stretched from the current grounds of Frederick High School to Taskers Chance.  In the 16 years since the home was purchased, the garden has hosted two wedding receptions and numerous events for local political candidates and charities.  The family particularly enjoys the “front row seat” their garden affords them to numerous parades, runs, walks and local events held in Baker Park.   Several trees of note can be found surrounding the property.  A large Copper Beach tree in the front, and crabapple and Weeping Copper Beach tree in the back provide a measure of privacy to this expansive space.

Side view of the house--it was huge!
Isn't this a terrific play house?!  There's a small pond with waterfall on the other side.

My lens was fogged, but I wanted you to see this Copper Beech!
This is the base of the Copper Beech.

104 Mercer Court, Apt. 15-8

Boasting a roof top view from five stories above ground, the two terraces that flank this pent house condo are meccas for creative, container gardening.  Guests will find an assortment of hardy shrubs interspersed with colorful annuals that enhance the casual charm of these outdoor living spaces.  The homeowners can often be found entertaining family and friends on the terraces, delighting them with stunning views of Baker Park to the east and the Blue Ridge Mountains to the west.  Visitors will be directed through the building, and to both terraces, by volunteer docents.

This is the second terrace.
You can barely make out the mountains just above the tree line.  We live on top of one of the "hills" in the middle of the picture.
100 Fairview Avenue
The boxwoods that feature so prominently in this garden are far more than decoration to the homeowner.  Originally purchased in the late 1920’s, they were first planted at Mrs. Swanson’s childhood home in Pearl, Maryland.  The homeowner cherishes fond memories of the shrubs, including playing hopscotch over them as a young girl.  They were moved to their current location in the early 1960’s by the homeowner’s mother, and have flourished since.  Today, the nearly dozen specimen sized shrubs are vibrant and healthy, with some as large as ten feet tall.  Classic English boxwood, sometimes referred to as “old Growth,” they are a cultivar that are resistant to many diseases and pathogens.  At nearly ninety years old, they are truly an impressive sight to see.

109 Kline Boulevard
This spacious garden nestled behind the homeowner’s quiet neighborhood residence is a source of personal enjoyment and relaxation.  Upon entering, visitors will be greeted by an inviting verandah extending from the back of the home.  The roofed porch is surrounded by a fish pond and offers pleasant access to the space from inside.  Beyond the veranda are a swimming pool and soothing fountain, providing the homeowner and guests ample opportunity to enjoy long afternoons of both rest and recreation.  While exploring the space visitors are invited to wander the path that follows the rear boundary of the garden among an impressive line of pine trees and evergreens.
This is the path around the property.  We entered from the previous garden through an opening in the fence on the right.

This is just off their patio.
103 West Second Street
Color abounds in this sun-filled garden tucked in the heart of the City.  Boasting a cheerful combination of flowers, decorative shrubs and trees, some of the most interesting plants include cropped cherry trees pruned in a Japanese style, an English boxwood topiary, a mature climbing hydrangea and a large selection of German bearded irises.  Equally remarkable is how the home itself adds to the architectural interest of the space.  A patio and sleeping porch provide depth, while a brick wall and long wooden fence offers privacy and an interesting backdrop for garden plants and a collection of outdoor art.
This is where we began our second day.  This is looking back at the walkway that we walked down to get to the back yard.
This and the following are all townhouse gardens.

Looking over the wall to the neighbor's house.

Looking back at the house.

English Boxwood Topiary
This is one of four cherry trees "cropped" to grow in this manner.  

You can see the Climbing Hydrangea on the right beyond the roses.  It's over 50 years old.

120 West Third Street

This casual garden retreat is tucked away in the heart of downtown Frederick.  Both shade and privacy are offered by a large, centenarian red cedar and a neighboring wall covered with Boston ivy.  A soothing rock fountain further shields the space from the noisy streets just beyond the garden wall.  The homeowners equally enjoy entertaining friends and family in the peaceful space, and taking in the view from a second-story balcony that overlooks the yard.  Those who look will find a stone carved statue of St. Francis of Assisi, a saint associated with the pat
ronage of animals and the natural environment, and a stunning Thai spirit house at the rear of the garden.

The Kousa Dogwood was in full bloom.

228 North Market Street - Volt Restaurant
This fully functional garden is used for summer dining, large scale parties and growing a variety of produce used in the restaurant.  The patio offers guests a unique dining experience during warm weather months, while the space beyond is suitable for a variety of activities from backyard barbecues and weddings to cooking demonstrations.  Guests venturing to the back of the garden will find mushroom logs, an herb spiral, tomato columns and mounds for root vegetables.  Visitors are encouraged to take note of the fruit trees which have been grafted to yield different varieties of apples and pears on each arm of the tree.  A rotation of artwork is skillfully displayed throughout the garden.

This is a side view of the restaurant.  It's in a 19th-century brownstone mansion.  Bryan Voltaggio, of Top Chef fame, is co-owner and top chef.

118 East Church Street

Frederick natives may remember this home as the previous residence of noted regional sculptor and artist H.I. Gates.  His outdoor sculptures filled the front garden for many decades.  While the Gates family took these pieces with them when the house was sold to the current owners, visitors will note one sculpture still remaining in the front garden.  This figure is the work of Turker Ozdogan, a colleague of H.I. Gates.  Casual and inviting, the rear garden is a favorite gathering spot for friends and family.  From pool parties and barbeques, to cocktail hours and receptions, this welcoming space offers a mixture of recreation and relaxation. 

Turker Ozdogan sculpture

The back portion of the house was built in 1840.  It was added onto twice towards the front over the years.

Leaving through the drive to the side street.
We skipped a couple places because we'd seen them before.  Instead we stopped in to see this year's Artomatic.  Before we headed back to the car we sampled teas and shared a cup of tea and cookies at Voila! tea shop.  I bought the peach apricot tea which I'm enjoying right now. . . .

.•*¨`*•. ☆ .•*¨`*•
Take Joy!


  1. You certainly took us on a beautiful tour, some amazing shrubs and trees. Inspirational, amazing what can be achieved.

    1. Lorraine, I'm glad you enjoyed the tour. Our gardens are nothing like the grand gardens England has, but "grand" on a smaller scale.

  2. I so enjoyed the tour! The pictures were beautiful. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Cathy you took great photos. I think color is so much brighter on a cloudy or rainy day. The only thing I mind about a rainy day is getting in and out of the car with an umbrella. It's so awkward and wet! Thanks for taking us on the tour!

  4. Cathy, I really enjoyed the tour. And I didn't have to get wet!��
    Every year when I lived in Bath, Ohio I went on the Bath Home and Garden tour. I always loved the gardens, so many wonderful ideas. Last year I was able to go back in May and go on the tour with my son and DIL. I realized how much I missed it! Thanks for taking us on this one, it was a joy to see it.
    Chris W

  5. I love it when you post garden tours, Cathy. Always makes this apartment-dweller spend a few very pleasant hours "leafing" through my own garden files - and often ends with me rough-sketching out a dream garden of my own. Lots of fun. There's just no end to the imagination when it comes to gardens. The only limits are your growing zone, the amount of sunshine your property gets and in the end, how much time you are willing to give to it etc. I do admit to preferring lower-maintenance plants myself, mostly because I'm a newbie, but also because I have a lot of other interests and wouldn't want to neglect a garden that really needed a lot of my time. PS - I never realized it before, never even thought about it, but you are spot-on right. Gardens ALWAYS look better in the rain. Your beautiful photos here are proof. If photographed in sunshine, these gardens would look very different, and not nearly as beautiful. I guess there's more to be said for overcast skies and dampness. Have a great week! 🌷

    1. I think that's why English gardens are so beautiful--all that rain they get and then they probably view the gardens mostly wet. One thing you left off your list of limits is COST--if you plan to implement your dream garden. I have to watch myself that I don't overspend every Spring on annuals or new perennials. Then there's the statuary or pretty pots calling out to me, and arbors, and fences, and and and....

    2. Oh, you are so right about both English gardens - and $$. If I had a house and "dirt of my own" - as my nephew used to say - I would need someone to carry my debit card when I went to the nursery in the Spring - or anytime really. My nephew's mom [my SIL] is somewhat of a master gardener, and their house is a real neighborhood showplace. We keep telling my brother that his house should be on the Garden Tour in our town. And anytime I go to the nursery with my SIL, we make each other crazy with ideas. Although our own dream gardens are very different. She's a rhododendron and peony girl, and loves to plant HUGE ceramic planters. I gravitate toward hostas, boxwood, ornamental grasses and roses. Much more traditional - LOL.

    3. Janet, I love English Boxwood because of the distinctive fragrance they have. I have lots of hostas but the deer love them so the leaves gets chewed off. We put up a deer deterrent this year (dried blood disks), but that has not kept them away.

    4. Cathy, among the voluminous notes I've been collecting for years is a PDF I got from Rutgers on deer-resistant plantings. I'll e-mail a copy to you - maybe it'll be helpful. Although something tells me you, another master gardener like my SIL, is probably already pretty well-aware of the plants deer dislike. I remember that my grandfather [another master] used eggs and water - and that it worked well. Here's a link I found online [because I don't know what formula my grandfather used]. Good luck!

    5. Thanks, Janet. I haven't tried other deer repellants because I'd read most didn't work or they needed to be reapplied after it rained. But I might try the egg mixture--that one is new to me. I have such a LARGE area of hostas that it always seemed more work than I cared to do. The hostas were here when we moved in and then started to spread. Because they were such a good ground cover I'd pick off the spent flower pods and spread them about. It's only been in the past 10 years or so that the deer have really become a problem. Maybe I'm attracting them to my yard with the hostas! The herd has grown so much that they don't seem to be afraid to come close to the house--even with Gabriel barking at them for the last 8 years. Now when I purchase new plants I check to see if they are deer resistant--but most say if deer can't find something else to eat that even these plants are susceptible.

    6. Well, best of luck with the egg mix. My SIL gets deer in her garden and likes this because it doesn't need to be re-applied after rain, or even very often. I think she said they do it well in the Spring and maybe once in mid-Summer? And yes, the deer around here are not at all hesitant to wander into neighborhoods and yards either. My brother once found a really tiny new fawn in the privet hedges that run along his wood fence - he's a hunter and estimated the baby was just a day or two old. Obviously he left it be, and the doe-mama returned shortly for it thank goodness. But he also got some great photos, and his kids, pre-schoolers at the time, were VERY excited.

  6. Thank you Cathy for sharing your lovely tour of beautiful gardens. You are so right about photos in the rain! Your lovely pictures prove that point quite well! Do you use a hood on your camera or do you have someone hold an umbrella? I hope your day is full of joy. ♥

    1. I held my own umbrella while holding the camera in the other hand and snapped away! And my day WAS full of joy. We visited our newest grandson who was born last night! And his sister is spending the night here with us.

    2. Oh Cathy, I'm so happy for your family! Congratulations to everyone! I was thinking today that I thought you expected another grandchild soon. How wonderful! ♥

    3. Thank you, Martha Ellen. He was born 10 days early--good thing, because he was 9 lbs. 1 oz. and his mommy is petite.

  7. Those are fantastic gardens and all of them are so different. It was a shame that it was so wet. Sarah x

    1. All the better for taking photos!


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