Thursday, July 12, 2012

West of the Lake Gardens

I lived on the lakeshore for many years.  And yet, I had never visited this garden.  There's not a lot of advertisement for it.  It's just there.  A garden that is protected and maintained from funds set up by the late Ruth and John West.    It's free and a great place for pictures and a short stroll.
It's strange really to see a place like this in town.  The structure, type of plants used, and design all reminded me of things we used to see in the 70's and 80's in older people's gardens around our neighborhood.   It was clean and well kept BUT it felt like we went back in time to the 1950's
But there is no denying the beauty of a rose.  Ageless.  And so many of them here at the gardens!!!
This 6-acre estate of the late Ruth and John West was created in 1934 and features a rose garden, Japanese, sunken and formal gardens, with more than 900 feet of herbaceous borders with colorful annuals. The gardens are located along Lake Michigan's shoreline and the new Mariners Trail.
If there was an event, this would be a great place to host one! So how does a memory like this get preserved?
The groundskeeper, who is very friendly, helped us out with several questions I had. But check out this interview from the Wisconsin Gardener.  "We are privately owned and operated by the West Foundation. It's a philanthropy that John and Ruth had set up back in the 1950s. I've been fortunate enough to be here. I help design the gardens, is what I do. And John West's contribution to all of this was his picture taking. There's a slide library that I'm able to refer to. That is where I get a lot of my ideas and enthusiasm as far as putting this garden together."
While you're in the garden, look for all the fun wildlife hiding out on the sidelines.
Look closely at this piece of succulent art.   Can you spot the flash of color?
The gardens are open from 10 AM to 5 PM daily.....weather permitting.  Admission is free.
And check out these views!  If you like today's post, you may want to check out Gardens at Waters East.  It's a fantastic blog with similiar views from the same area....just East:)  Hopefully, one of these days I'll have some time to meet up with this fellow blogger.  I have a big family back home and so I have limited time for these little adventures:)
The colors in the garden are lovely.  And again I'm reminded of my youth.  This color found in the fountain reminds me of the pier and cabin color at my Grandparent's old cabin in Minnesota.  I don't see this blue often.  The gardens use a lot of blues and pinks in the various areas.  I enjoy how these succulents have a pink tinge to them and contrast nicely with the blue of the bird bath.
This is perfection below.  Look at the tiny detail of the plantings.  It's like fancy icing on a cake.
And of course, we have a little fun with photography as well.  Here, King Tuzigoot goes crazy.  Apparently the weather along the lake is right up his alley.   Those Arizona summer days can be quite daunting!  Hope you enjoyed the tour. 
Thank you Jill from Welcome To....
Yesterday I was awarded the Blog on Fire Award which is a cool sounding name especially since I'm coming from the desert:) And the rules state that I must write 8 things unknown about me. Okay, let me try this out.
1.  Sometimes I'll blast pop music when I'm home alone and just dance.  I don't know where the energy comes from.....
2. I get bored with routines, but if I don't follow them, I get antsy.
3.  I'd be a night owl because I like the evenings....especially during monsoon season. 
4.  Sometimes I dream about space travel.  I'd give my life for exploration. I'd love to volunteer on that first Mars mission.
5.  I wish I could be a teacher, park ranger, librarian, director of photography and film, and travel guide all at once.
6.  If I could time travel, I'd go to Egypt or the age of the dinosaurs.
7. I bite my nails(really bad habit).
8.  I crave taco salads.
Hope you have a great day.  Thanks for stopping by!  More tomorrow....

38 comments:

  1. A garden with a charitable fund, you can't beat that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No you can't. But if you only knew how many locals don't know about it. I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

      Delete
  2. oh Kreesh you post daily and i can't cope, lol. That's a lovely garden especially that with pond on the first photo, i like it because you have a hand in doing it, another lol. And...you put very hot chili on your fingertips, to keep your mouth away from them!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My dear friend....you have TWO blogs that you post regularly on....that's A LOT of work. I tried chili on my fingers. It's too hot:)

      Delete
  3. Nice tour of the gardens. The view of the lake is beautiful. And the roses are gorgeous. Cute captures of the frog and is that a goldfinch I see flying away. Love the closeups of the birdbath and the succulent art. Great photos and I enjoyed the post. Have a great day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those succulents are gorgeous. I really like how people create art with them. A blogger friend Julie has a great site full of succulent ideas. I get so many ideas from her on how to set up these kinds of pieces. Succulents here don't really do too well.....but you can do this with cacti so I do try it with our plants here. It's pretty fun.

      Delete
  4. Byłeś w cudownym miejscu. Było na co patrzeć, a zdjęcie z widokiem na wodę jest cudowne.*** Przestań obgryzać paznokcie, to brzydko wygląda
    :-). Pozdrawiam.
    You were in a wonderful place. It was something to look at a photo overlooking the water is wonderful. *** Stop bit my nails, it looks ugly
    :-). Yours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The lake is gorgeous Giga. You'd love it!:)

      Delete
  5. Happy to find your Blog today. So wonderful your pictures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for stopping by. Glad you enjoyed today's post.

      Delete
  6. dear chris, what a great garden - thanks for the tour. And congrats on the award. I enjoyed learning the stuff about you - you have a wonderful wild energy that I really admire. I pretty much relate to most of the points - except taco salad, don't know what that is. And no.6 anwer is interesting - I think I'd be scared with all those giant tyronnasauras' roaming around humgrily - if you went to ancient Egypt my advice is to make sure you're not a slave building a pyramid. cheers, catmint

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I'd just be invisible during those times. The dinosaurs couldn't eat me. I'd be in a protective bubble:)

      Delete
  7. The photos are beautiful. It is fun learning more about you.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Stunning roses and garden. I adore the 50's feel to it. I could almost see Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe sitting on those funky chairs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really feels like something out of that era. We drove up into the drive and it was like stepping back in time.

      Delete
  9. congrats to you, chris. thanks for giving us a view of this garden. i like the succulents surrounding the bird bath. really need to see if they'll grow here. not sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The bird bath is really amazing. Here I have a feeling my birds would destroy that art:)

      Delete
  10. Congrats on the award, well deserved. Love the little yellow bird what luck for it to be there right at that moment. King Tuzigoot made me smile!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. He can get a little crazy....especially when he's trekking with me and the camera:)

      Delete
  11. Gorgeous gardens.

    Don't hold back. You could be a Park Ranger during summers.

    And stop biting your nails.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wow, this proves that whoever said "The best things in life are free" know what they were talking about! Hey, I have something for you but I need to know a place where I can send it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Tracy,

      My email is rohrerbot@yahoo.com. Exciting!:) What is it? Let me find your email...

      Delete
  13. Great pics, and congratulations. The garden has really interesting succulent displays.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They did a great job. How they had all those little pups around the main plant is wonderful.

      Delete
  14. Lake Michigan is so big, it looks like an ocean! I enjoyed learning about the West's gardens, I would love to visit there someday. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's huge. When I came to Tucson, the mountains made me smile. Living on the water was nice, but being around the mountains is better:)

      Delete
  15. Hello,
    Wonderful to see all these shots of a very beautiful garden.
    Shot 5 is really amazing with great colors!!
    It's all enjoyment.

    Greetings, Marco

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really nice hues of pinks and blues. 5 was tricky. I took 5 or 6 shots of that particular rose. That was the only one that turned out from that set. The center wasn't clear in the other shots.

      Delete
  16. Thank you for taking us along on a tour of West of the Lake Gardens. What a glorious place to visit! Yes, I can see why this place reminds you of gardens from the 70's and 80's. The area where the succulents are grown is especially beautiful. I love the colors. Each and every one of your photographs is stunning! They belong in a brochure for West of the Lake Gardens.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Julie. When I look back on this shoot, I realized I should have taken larger shots of the whole area and as a photographer, I need to work better on those larger shots:) I like the longer lens and tend to use that one often. Have a great weekend!

      Delete
  17. A really beautiful garden - love the roses. And succulents are one of my favourites so it was great to see photos of these too. I adore the ones round the bird bath! Looks a lovely place to visit and relax :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you could grow them there and then during the winter bring them in or if you are having too much rain, just keep them on an outdoor patio. They are so unique because they come in many shapes and colors.

      Delete
  18. What an amazing legacy to leave behind :) I also like the colours of the succulents in the birdbath, very zen. So, what's the garden on Mars going to look like?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well since we're speaking zen talk here....I think we'll do something with a rock garden. There seems to plenty of those on Mars:)

      Delete
  19. Hi Chris, WOW--what a fabulous garden.. Some of those roses look like some of ours. Gorgeous... AND--I love the succulent area. How creative!!!!!! Thanks for sharing. I'd love to see those gardens in person. That is nice of the Wests to leave all of that for US to enjoy!!!!

    I don't participate in awards or give-aways or tags anymore. I used to --but it got to me too much so I gave it all up.... I do enjoy reading little things about my blog friends this way though...

    Hope you do get to travel like you want to... Follow those dreams and make them come true!!!!
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh Betsy....there is so much to do and see in this lifetime. Right now I am reading about the central marshes in Iraq. There are so many things going on around this world. If I had money, I would be going going going to try and help with conservation efforts around the world. It's amazing what's going on.

      The West Foundation is really interesting. The couple was quite an interesting pair of people who did a lot for my hometowns. Their mark is still seen after all these years since they've passed. What a legacy! Have a good weekend.

      Delete
  20. These flowers took my breath away. Sublime! And I notice, kids will be kids. :)

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by!