I was inspired to go on another oddball neighborhood garden tour last weekend, and I figured that the best way to do it was on my cute 1968 Schwinn Hollywood bicycle.
I started at my friend Jane’s new garden. Recently, she and her husband have become part of the landed gentry by obtaining a couple lots next to their house that were empty due to the city’s urban blight reduction through empty house demolition. Jane has a great yard aesthetic, and she has applied it to her new yard. My favorite part is that she’s used bouncy balls as garden art. She just tosses them out to ornament her lawn.
I also like her wild front gardens, especially her bowling ball gazing balls.
Next on our tour, my friends Phyllis and Anitra who have a great, grass-free lawn out front filled with lots of interesting bits of art and plants including a branch riding a bike. I was sorry I didn’t get better photos of the many points of interest up there, since that was what I’d originally gone to photograph.
Out back, they have a great little garden space that includes several things that I wish I had in my own garden including okra (if only for the beautiful flowers), fully blue/purple tomatoes, and giant sunflowers. I got some stunning photos of the sunflowers.
From there, I stopped to wistfully gaze at an amazing piece of garden art. It’s a huge windspinner that I happened to notice in someone’s lawn. It’s at least 6 feet tall and has all kinds of moving parts. Here it is for you to enjoy:
I was almost at Evansville’s waterfront, by this point, so I detoured there for a photo.
Next, I stopped in Patchwork’s garden for some more plants I wish I had growing in my own garden: zinnias. They’re so bright and cheery and the butterflies and goldfinches love them.
From there it was a quick jump over to another of my favorite neighborhood gardens at my friends’ Billy and Tom’s house. Tom’s cultivated a loose, wild garden whose color matches their house.
Finally, I stopped by my friend Alan’s house where there are more zinnias and Mexican sunflowers. There is also a great ground cover that squeezes itself into the cracks in his walkway. I tried to transfer some of it to my garden last summer but I was disappointed that it didn’t work.
And finally, there is the most amazing tree that can be seen from the alley between Alan’s house and my own. I’ve tried to capture its immense beauty, but so far I haven’t quite done it. It’s a box elder and the trunk has to be 5-6 feet across. It’s knobby and lumpy, it spreads beautifully, and it has a wonderful spirit about it. It’s back behind an empty house.