On Wednesday, July 19 at 5 p.m., 30+ garden club members and their guests braved the heat and headed out to tour four gardens. Last year was the first time we held a mini-garden tour and it was so popular that members requested we do it again. The first garden was at a farmhouse in Avon Lake, home to a member of the Herb Guild. And yes, she does have a lot of herbs in her garden. The property is interesting with a barn and other out-buildings and the garden is fabulous. The deeper I walked into the garden, the more I had the feeling of being lost in a botanical paradise. Around every turn is a profusion of color, texture, garden art, stone or wood borders. There is a huge variety of flowers, herbs and shrubs and the daylilies were still blooming. The gardener was present to share her experiences of gardening at this site for 40 years. The garden is a delight for all of the senses. The second garden in Avon was at the home of a garden club member who is also an artist. This garden has neat, trim borders bursting with color and variety and islands with shrubs, flowers, bird feeders and garden art. There is a cottage at the back of the property which is decked out with overflowing window boxes. The homeowner/gardener invited us inside his home to see the addition which houses a stunning new master bath and closet. With the garden and the new addition, this stop was a double treat. The third garden in Westlake was also at the home of a garden club member. This property is large with many trees and shrubs, a garden shed and swing. The large, full borders were exploding with a variety color and texture. You notice trowels in the ground around the garden because the gardener is always digging up and moving plants or placing them in small pots to share with visitors. I have been to this garden many times and each time I feel like I have gone home to my grandmother's garden. This garden makes me want to pour a tall glass of iced tea, grab a good book and curl up on the swing and enjoy. The last garden has won Westlake in Bloom many times in its' category. The homeowner/gardener very graciously invited us into his garden and to hold our reception on his deck. The garden has colorful border plantings, shrubs and many interesting trees. This gardener likes to plant areas of one color instead of mixing colors, which makes quite a statement. In addition to the garden plantings, there are many containers on the deck just bursting with color. Members and guests enjoyed wine, beer, iced tea, cheese and crackers, hummus, salsa, guacamole and chips, vegetables and dip, fruit and cookies, and as the sun went down and the twinkle lights on the deck came on, it was the end to a perfect evening. A great big THANK YOU to the homeowners who opened their gardens for our enjoyment. I think this may become an annual event. Visit our Photo Galleries for pictures of the gardens on the tour.