A Secret Garden, Lots of Whimsy and Beautiful Art: This Garden Tour Had it All!

Welcome to the 541st Metamorphosis Monday!

No big Before and Afters happening around here so I’m taking you on a little garden tour for this week’s Met Monday. Actually, now that I think about it, there are a couple of really cute Before/Afters in the garden!

A few days ago, a friend and I enjoyed touring five beautiful gardens as part of The Secrets Gardens of Avondale spring garden tour.

Secret Garden Entrance


I loved the entrance to this little “secret garden.”

Secret Garden


This secret garden was a small, shady area alongside the home. Since it was so shady, there weren’t a lot of blooming plants or color. It was very private and cozy, though…a good place for an afternoon nap or some quiet reading time.

Shade Garden, Secret Garden


This garden was the same garden that had the wonderful screened summer house I shared a few days ago in this post: Life in a Summer House, Step Inside a Cozy Screened-in Gazebo. As mentioned in that previous post, of all the gardens we saw that day, this one was my favorite. It was filled with wonderful “rooms” and so much whimsy.

Here’s a little Before and After…the repurposing of a birdbath into a pretty planter for the garden. Love this idea!

Birdbath used as planter in the garden


I love a pretty window box. Imagine being inside that room and opening back the shutters to discover a little garden growing just outside!

Window Box, Garden Tour


Here’s a second little Before/After, a way to repurpose old flatware.

Flatware made into Dragonfly for the Garden, Garden Whimsy


If you have some old stainless flatware that’s pitted and not in the greatest shape anymore, turn the handles into dragonflies for a bit of whimsy in your garden. I like the one on bottom best…the tapered handle makes a really cute dragonfly body. lol

Remake old flatware into garden decor, whimsical garden feature


This wonderful garden gate took us into the backyard. I love the dragonfly knocker and the wonderful green color of the gate.

Garden Gate, Dragonfly Handle


So, I came to a realization in this garden, something I sorta knew already, but this garden really confirmed it. I have come to realize that my favorite gardens are the ones with lots of “rooms.” Just as I’m not that crazy about homes designed with big, open interiors, I love a cozy garden with a lot of little rooms, over having a large expanse of lawn. It just feels so warm, intimate and inviting and around every corner awaits another wonderful surprise.

Everywhere you turned, there were little spaces to sit and enjoy in this wonderful backyard. I’ll share more of those in an upcoming post this week for Tablescape Thursday. You are going to be delighted when you see all the lovely spaces for dining, but today we’re just focusing on the seating groups. This lovely space was near the house, just at the foot of the deck stairs.

Seating area for the garden


Every garden needs a cute bunny to help with the weeding.

Bunny Garden Figurine


Notice all the little touches of color and whimsy throughout this garden–like this pretty blue and white urn tucked against a bed of bee balm.

Urn-Vase in the garden, Monarda, Bee balm


Another beautiful “room” to sit and read or just enjoy the garden and the birds singing their spring songs.

Cozy bench in the garden


I would have trouble choosing where to sit, there were so many lovely areas to enjoy!

Shade Garden, Bench, Striped Pillows


Just outside the summer house at the very back of the garden, we found an artist hard at work. That was one of the neatest things about this garden tour: at each home, an artist could be found painting a pretty scene from the garden.

Artist in the garden, Painting in the garden


I snapped this photo of an artist working in the backyard of another home.

Painting in the garden, Artist in the Garden


I loved this painting—loved her style of painting! I wish I had thought to ask for her card or contact information. I noticed another one of her paintings on the bench nearby was already sold.

View from the Garden, Artist in the Garden


I can’t wait to share the pretty tables we saw in the garden this Thursday for Tablescape Thursday! Have you taken any garden tours this spring? This one definitely provided so much inspiration! Love a great garden tour!

Metamorphosis Monday

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  1. Susan, thanks for taking me along on this fabulous garden tour! I do love all of the rooms in this lovely garden with so many wonderful ideas. Having artists on site to paint is an extra added bonus!

  2. Not a gardener ( I have 4 dogs) but sure appreciate the green thumbs of others. But the talent I wish I had is art. I can’t draw a stick figure but my brother was a fabulous artist. Oh, well.

  3. I have a secret garden and finally have managed to keep Bambi a little at bay. The garden is sloped and has 3 tiers. The bottom is wrought iron fenced for Mr. Prince Hairy so he won’t wander off as critters distract him. Mama deer brought her newborn to visit the other day and the fawn had trouble staying in place and momentum brought it down the slope hopping like a little goat. Mama came to the rescue and showed him how to get back to the top. Made us smile. Mama always brings her babies to show off to us each Spring. But the garden for the first time is fabulous and still intact even with the deer passerby’s. The women’s club has asked several times to tour but it is by invite only. I do love gardens and appreciate your sharing with us. Maybe I will share some pics with you later.

  4. Biodynamic Barb says

    I loved this! Especially the shot with the bunny ‘helpers’. Did you notice the bunny at the back of that shot? He’s as cute as the one in the foreground. I’d love to find a source for both of them. The DIY ideas are also great. I’m forwarding them to DH…he’s the gardener in the family.

  5. Loved seeing the artists painting in the garden! Lovely spots to linger, thanks Susan!

  6. A left-handed artist! I noted there were coffee cups “staged” in several of the seating areas. I must be on the right track in my yard as I too have created different areas around my yard with different themes. I can’t seem to stop buying yard art or making DIY projects. Thanks for sharing as I love outdoors more than indoors!

  7. what a beautiful garden!! Thanks so much for hosting each week!!

  8. Oh, this truly is one of my vert favorite ” things to do!!” We just went on the “Historic VirginiaHouse & Garden” tour…it was…outstanding! I’m trying to do “little sitting vignettes” throughout our property…my daughter says, “MOM!! Not another bench/ swing/hammock”… franki


    Enjoyed beyond belief.
    My kind of DESIGN.

  10. Cyndi Raines says

    What a great way to spend an afternoon! Gardens of this nature are always so inspiring. How fun to see artists at work! I still have a lot of weeding to do, but it is raining again. Oh, well, plenty of house work to do instead, ha. Thanks Susan.

  11. Dragonflies–best use of old flatware ever! Working artist in each garden is someone’s genius idea; I would’ve had to be dragged away. It’s fortunate (for us) that you have a blog to share this with us.

  12. I love all the gardens. I especially love shady gardens with all white flowers, gardenias, magnolias, daisies, dianthus, and any other white flower. Lush green plants and grass make it complete. The garden tour was beautiful!

  13. I would love for you to find the name of the left-handed artist. Her talent is evident!

    • It really is! I think they were all very talented, but I didn’t take that many photos since I didn’t want to get too, too close and invade their space or interrupt their painting. If I can find out any information Marge, I’ll let you know.

  14. Lovely garden tour! I also have a “secret garden” although not as large as this one. It’s on the lower side of our new house that few people see. Thanks for a fun party!!

  15. Oh, how I love garden tours. Thanks for sharing this one with us. Our area used to have a yearly garden and pond tour and I’ve done a whole series – 31 days of garden tours on my blog – that you might enjoy! (I shared the link above). The woman who began the tours has stopped organizing them and I miss it so much. The tour at her home/garden was the best of all on the tour.

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