Lotawana Garden Tour 6

Experience the Beauty of the Lakeside Gardens

The Lake Lotawana Garden Tour offers a day to enjoy the natural and man-made beauty to be found along the shores of this local gem.

Lake residents invite you to come and experience the joy of the gardens selected for their annual garden tour on June 13, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Though you can take the tour by car, the most fun and adventurous way to do it is to ride one of the many volunteer-driven pontoon boats from the docks of the Marina Grog and Galley inside Gate 1 off Colbern Road. From the boat you can take in the beauty of the whole lake, including its unique combination of original cabins and luxurious and eclectic homes, from a lakeside view, which offers an entirely different perspective than from the street.

Eight gardens are available to stroll through, and range from formal grandeur to a relaxing woodland setting.

One of the featured gardens is at a newer home located in S block inside Gate 5 off of Highway 7.  The young yard is only in its third spring. The owners worked with Vivan Pine and Flora Culture to design their yard and pick their plants.

Their first priority was to have a maintenance-free yard with no grass to mow or weeds to pull. They also desired an unobstructed view of the lake (you’ll see their view is absolutely spectacular), year-long color and to attract butterflies.

Throughout the property, plentiful plantings of milkweed, lantana, buddleia, echinacea, dianthus and delosperma have thus far brought butteflies in five varieties. Last year they enjoyed observing monarchs in all stages, which they learned to identify at the annual Powell Gardens’ Butterfly Exhibit.

From the patio they enjoy a small waterfall feature and firepit which are part of an inventive planting barrier created in lieu of a railing to accomplish the unobstructed lake view.

Two clever metal sculptures by Fred Conlon reflect a bit of the personality of the owners who enjoy a sense of humor. One is a giant fish eating a pesky garden gnome, set in a patch of reeds growing under the metal artwork, giving the illusion the fish is jumping out of the water. Brilliant.

A sweeping stone stairway gently curves around the lot, integrated with the natural rock and defining the garden as it leads down to the water (or up to the house). Off the stairs, a stone walking path leads to a darling little foot bridge through the middle of the garden. Throughout the property are planted a variety of fruit trees (apple and peach), dogwoods, magnolias and crepe myrtle.

When the owners created the new garden, they were able to save all the beautiful plants and trees from the previous home, transplanting them to their son’s first home.

Lilacs and lavender waft wonderful smells across the garden, patio and deck. Sitting in an upper screened-in porch, the owners enjoy beautiful blooms from a purple robe tree. You’ll also find hydrangeas growing on both sides of the house.

With water pumped up from the lake run through trickling hoses, the garden offers colorful pops of oranges and pinks, and provide beautiful cut flower arrangements all summer long.

Whether from the water or the street, the walk through this garden will be guided by volunteers who will direct tour guests along the path around the property. Such is the case for the other seven gardens on this year’s tour.