Gamble Garden Tour 2011

Today and tomorrow (April 29-30) are the Gamble Garden Spring Tour days. I signed up early this year and joined the mostly female crowd to see five beautiful gardens in Palo Alto today. Ever since my plant interests shifted to the more exotic groups a few years ago, I have been skipping this event since my impression from before was that the plant palettes were on the conservative side. From what I saw today, the loss is on my part since even though these gardens still are not quite cutting-edge plant-wise, they do have very impressive hardscapes. Here are some highlights:

The first garden has several sitting areas under wisteria arbors. This one is right next to house with a hidden polycarbonate roof for rainy days

Beautiful Pool
swimming pool

The second garden is nearby with a strong Mediterranean theme, said to be inspired by Hearst Castle.
Front Entry of Second Garden

The gold and blue tiles are indeed very much like those in Hearst Castle. More illustrative patterns could be made if some diagonally half gold tiles were sourced like the dragon rider from Hearst Castle in the bottom photo below.

Pool Area
Statue Gold and Blue Mosaic Table
Hearst Gold Tile Mosaic

Another garden has a well-finished Endless Pool, which is a treadmill for swimmers.
Endless Pool

Yet another garden combined two adjacent lots and has a large pool with a nice custom fountain

Pool with red chairs Modern Fountain

My favorite garden belongs to Ms. Rochelle Ford, who is a very successful metal sculptor. I have been admiring her scintillating frontyard for years and had this photo from 2007 as proof. There is simply no chance for a clear photo like this today with all the eager visitors.
Rochelle's Garden

It is hard to believe that this house was painted white five times before the current tropical palette, which sets the exotic mood and showcases the sculptures perfectly.

front patio sideview Front Door Side yard Side yard high wall

Who wouldn’t want to sit down at a great bench like this after an exciting day of visiting beautiful gardens?
Garden Bench