Saturday, June 22, 2019

A Panoply of Peonies

The sun poked its face through the clouds to warm the visitors to the Lakewood Arts Council's Annual Garden tour.  What started out as a very unusually cold and rainy June 22nd  (47 degrees and yes I was wearing my knit hat, sweater, boots and long coat!)
 turned into a pleasant afternoon of flower and vegetable viewing and interacting with cute little baby goats!

Skal Goat Farm, where I volunteered to sit for the morning, offers raw goat milk, fresh eggs, and what the owner has found to be the most lucrative venture: goat yoga with baby goats. They were so cute as they come running up to greet you with their plaintive cries.

And when I commented on the creative hand painted sign for the goat farm, Kristen, the owner explained she had found records of the farm dating back to the 1800's, so she copied the original design.

Off to lunch at the gallery, included in the ticket price.  Croissant sandwiches, fruit and veggies, and a selection of cookies gave the visitors enough energy to complete the garden tour. Thanks to our hospitality volunteers for organizing this delicious luncheon.

Close to the gallery was the expansive private garden on Estes St.  Owner Kathy explained how back in the 70's when she was traveling to the Middle East, she would collect botanical samples and ship them back to the states.
  These trees and shrubs have now grown up to cover her 1 1/2 acres with lush vegetation.  A board at the entrance detailed all her experiments with different plants -- which ones thrived in our Colorado climate and which didn't.
Among parrot trees and wisteria from Persia, opium poppies from Afghanistan and a collection of colorful columbines, her panoply of peonies was what amazed me.
 The variations in color and shape kept me wandering in the garden in awe of their beauty.

Squirrels chased each other amongst the tree trunks and birds sang, and the resident cat, Poppy, greeted me with a nuzzle.  I could have spent hours here.  But there were more gardens to see:  Warren Tech with its educational exhibits, another private garden with a story to tell, and a couple of community gardens. That's all for this year.  Keep your eye out for possible locations for next year!

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