Summer Garden Tour First Stop: Outdoor Rooms

 Styled back porch highlights a summer brunch gathering underneath the pergola.

Styled back porch highlights a summer brunch gathering underneath the pergola.

Irwin Weiner ASID - Perfect hot summer weather greeted us as Jay and I went with friends Ed and Rick (happy engagement!) to the 2014 New Hope Historical Society Garden Tour. Our first stop was a freshly updated custom home from the 1970s or 80s that spared no expense with its luxurious gardens. 

 This Ferman Lex home is 5,000+ sf, 4 bedrooms, 5 baths, gourmet kitchen, and surrounded by brick terraces.

This Ferman Lex home is 5,000+ sf, 4 bedrooms, 5 baths, gourmet kitchen, and surrounded by brick terraces.

Stepping off the back porch, covered by a blindingly immaculate white pergola and a styled-to-the-hilt brunch party table, we began to follow the brick terrace, flagstone, and crushed gravel paths that led us through secret gardens and outdoor rooms. Let's just say the garden crew needs to make weekly visits to maintain the lush grounds.

 I'm walking down the grassy allee that guides you to a secret garden.

I'm walking down the grassy allee that guides you to a secret garden.

From the bricks and flagstone path, we were led to lawn and an allee of trees - note the amazing swaths of lily turf surrounding the trees in gently crowned beds - that led us to a beautiful secret garden. A clever raised flower arrangement (urn on a pedestal) provided the focal point at the end of the allee. "Allee" is "avenue" in French, and the joke is that, like all things French, the allee is very high maintenance. But if you're the gardener, this is no joking matter; they're a lot of work to keep looking nice, and this home's allee was in fine form.

 Enclosed vegetable and herb garden featuring an asparagus patch and raised beds.

Enclosed vegetable and herb garden featuring an asparagus patch and raised beds.

The Secret Garden ended in a series of meandering paths bordered by viburnum, hellebores, hydrangea, perennials, birdhouse apartments, garden sculptures, and lots of manicured lawn. One of my favorite features was a little cottage in the middle of the backyard. A small herb and vegetable garden was added to the back of the cottage, enclosed by a charming white picket fence.

Next post: another highlight of our tour. I hope you and your family are having a wonderful summer and enjoying your outdoor rooms, wherever they may be!