Monday, June 7, 2010

Mountain Ranch Garden Tour

We went on a Garden Tour Saturday and it was a wonderful day out. The tour was in Mountain Ranch, an old Mother Lode town up in the Sierra Foothills. Their community center needs work, and it was the recipient of the proceeds. They are a little higher than we are, so their season is about three weeks later, consequently the iris and peonies were reaching perfection.

Most of the houses on the tour were very old by California standards. This one was built in 1852 as a stage stop/post office/bar. It still functions today as a cattle ranch and farm. The garden had several very old plants including these peonies and a huge old wisteria covering the south side of the home.

This is the Mountain Ranch Hotel. The portion you see, built in 1906, was an addition to an older section. This property is available for $1 million. You could fix it up and rent it our for weddings and parties. It even has a swimming pool.

The tour featured arts and crafts too. At the hotel several artists were displaying their work.

Here is the largest garden. It recently had a water feature installed, and the garden was still in a state of disarray, but it was the perfect site for the crafts tables. Since moving here 12 years ago, the owners of this garden have built a huge stone wall all around the property and are now starting to landscape the garden. The home is an 1860 adobe building that originally held a store, but was expanded over the years and has functioned as all sorts of things; butcher, bar, post office, boarding house, some even say a brothel!

One of the interesting things about these gardens was their use of recycled items. Every garden seemed to have lots of rusty things serving new purposes. Here is a plow disk holding succulents. And it looks quite nice, doesn't it?

And here is a rusty bucket serving as a finial on this lovely rock column. I like the rusty gate too.

Old stone houses, rusty accessories, water features...they're nice, but the reason I go on garden tours is to see the flowers and I wasn't disappointed at the Mountain Ranch Garden Tour.


Dena said...

What beautiful flowers! I love the last picture with the shadows on the purple!


Spot said...

love the peonies, have just come back from SW France to find our own peonies at the peak of perfection. Oh happy days!