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Garden Tours Spark Inspiration, Relaxation, and Conversation

Shauna has a deep appreciation for Mother Nature's landscape and endeavors to follow Nature's lead when creating beauty in her yard.

Take a garden tour

Take a garden tour

A Solution to That Languishing Feeling

Do you ever find yourself in a rut? Same s*#t different day?

Of course you do. We all do from time to time.

I found myself feeling uninspired, unmotivated, and yearning for human interaction not too long ago. If you work from home, isolated in your office day after day while the rest of the world spins around you, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.

It was another day like any other. I was planted in front of my computer reading blog posts, going through the never-ending barrage of how-to-make-six-figures-by-sitting-on-your-ass-all-day-every-day articles that hit my inbox. Then it happened! An email from Master Gardeners of Seminole County informed me of an upcoming garden tour.

And then there was light.

As much as I love gardening, nature, and all things beautiful, I’d never been on a garden tour. I’m kind of ashamed to admit that, since my mother is a Master Gardener whose property is featured annually on garden tours in her area.

Anyway, I promised myself I’d get my tired butt out of the house and see what other people in the world had been doing to create beauty and enhance the environment. Even if it meant I had to go by myself. I’m a big girl. I can do this, right?

Right!

Let me share with you what I discovered that day as I ventured out on my own, far away from the confines of my 100-square-foot home office.

Small Spaces Spark Inspiration

My first stop was the Halliday property in Lake Mary. Touted as a tropical paradise and demonstration of what a gardener can do with a small space, I was intrigued. Upon arrival I was offered a bottle of water and provided with a list of plants that live in the host’s backyard paradise.

Aside from the stone pavers outlining the pathway, there wasn’t a square inch of property that wasn’t home to beautiful drought-tolerant foliage. There was even a small koi pond nestled in this suburban jungle.

Rather than ramble on, I’ll give you a virtual tour. If you have a small backyard, I hope these photos inspire you to don your garden gloves and create your own oasis.

Innovative Use of Rainwater

The Peak property was quite a bit of a drive but well worth it. Mr. Peak is a retired engineer who has devised a way to use rainwater to nourish all of his foliage, including the grassy areas. What really intrigued me was how he uses rainwater to fill his pool and hot tub.

I wish I’d gotten pictures of the rain barrel/pipe system he designed to accomplish this. I was so awed that, frankly, I plumb forgot to snap shots of the distribution system. He had an area cordoned off in the backyard that houses three large rain barrels. Not only is nature’s nectar directed into the barrels, but he’s devised a system where pressure forces the water back up into drainage systems he’s attached to the eaves and lower portions of his house. Open-ended pipes running along the eaves dump onto shrubbery and other plants located around the perimeter. The pipes on the lower portion of the structure have small holes bored into them, allowing water to flow out into the grassy areas.