Private Garden Tour

by Amy Stafford on September 5, 2013

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 Private Garden Tour of one of the most amazing private gardens in the midwest. beth carps garden

A few weeks ago I had the good fortune to be invited by my friend Leslie to go on a private tour of a local garden, that is by far the most spectacular private garden I have ever seen.  It rivaled many a public garden I have visited.  What made it all the more amazing was one woman, designed, planted and cares for the garden.  I am shaking my head as I am typing this, it’s that remarkable that there is not a team of people who care for this garden.  The gardener who is a master, though says she doesn’t have the title, is a true artist.  Her name is Beth Karp and I just hope that I have done her garden justice in my photos and short movie, so that you can find some inspiration.  Because let me tell you, my mind is now constantly working around the possibilities of what I can do here in my own garden from what I saw and learned in Beth’s.  While you are looking through the photos and watching the video pay attention to what you like and then think about where you could implement something similar into your own garden.

Beth’s gardens sit on three acres and are themed, one effortlessly leading into the next.  The amount of plants varieties is mind-boggling.  Her garden was among more than 300 gardens open for touring across the U.S. by the Garden Conservancy in 2009, and has been catalogued in the Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens.

As I walked around the garden, I typed on my i-phone the name of plants I was drooling over, would click a photo or two, drank wine (yes wine was served, I was in heaven) and tried to absorb as much information as I could while Beth gave me a personal tour.   I am highlighting Beth’s “Hosta Garden”, “Pond Garden” and her whimsical “Shade Garden”.  Maybe a later post I can share more.  What I want to share with you that may help you in your own garden is how Beth incorporates different types of plants, colors, textures and heights to merge beautifully.

Please take the time to watch the short video, it has more beautiful photos and plant identifications as well.

Beth Karp Hosta Garden

Beth is a true lover of Hosta‘s, she starts many by seed in her home during the winter months and transplants them in the spring.  The Hosta Garden is a full of  whites, yellows and greens with very little primary colors, but the effect of her planting placement is soothing and seems effortless.   She has place several different sculptures throughout which allows your eye to rest.  She also interplanted many tall perennials, such as irises throughout the low growing Hosta, Astilbe and Ferns to bring height to the garden.  You will also find Hydrangea and Magnolias.

Pond Garden Karp

Following the path I soon found my self at Beth’s Pond Garden where she informed me the ground is wet, so she had to find plants that like wet feet.  This is a problem many of us gardeners have in this area, so I was anxious to see what she had growing.  This garden was by far my favorite, the play on cool and hot colors was breathtaking.  She anchors the garden with a pair of Bronze Cranes and a beautiful Birdhouse.  Beth used a combination of Ornamental Grasses and Perennials along with a few annuals to make a riot of color that draws you in and through the garden.

Beths Dragonfly

 Beth’s Shade garden is a place of whimsy.  Along with a borage of Ajuga, Hostas, Lungwort, Irises, Solomon’s seal, Jacob’s ladder, Perennial Geranium there was a hanging spider sculpture that was a made from an old grill, Caladium  that was planted in the crook of a tree, and a birdbath that was planted with an array of Sedum.

Beth Karp Shade Garden

  Beth Karp Garden

We ended the tour on Beth’s Patio where we enjoyed wine that Leslie had brought, I got to meet Beth’s feral cat Fern (gotta love the name) and the three of us sat, drank wine, talked until the sun set, the bats came out and Beth graciously kicked us out.  After all she had gardening to do the next day.

I want to thank Leslie for her introduction and delicious wine and for Beth for sharing her garden and her inspiration, knowledge and kindness.

xo Amy

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You can usually find me in my garden, the kitchen, at the gym or spending time with my family. I love sharing recipes, gardening and exercise tips and stories of my backyard chickens and beekeeping.
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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Dana September 6, 2013 at 10:25 am

What a treat Amy! Such a beautiful garden. I especially loved the sculptures throughout. Inspiration to us all! Dana

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Michele in Salem September 8, 2013 at 8:38 am

That is absolutely beautiful Amy! Thanks for sharing!

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Amy Stafford September 8, 2013 at 6:41 pm

Happy to share Michele, I wish you could see it in person, the garden is AMAZING! Hope all is well with you and your family. xo

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Gretchen December 20, 2013 at 8:44 am

I just found this post and video – wow! I watched the video over and over on full screen, stopping at every new vista to try and identify each plant and to study how Beth put them all together. I wish I could get my garden to look like that. I think it has something to do with rocky Virginia clay – I hate to spend money on soil amendments when I could buy plants or benches! And then there are the deer who love to eat hosta. Thank you for sharing – here’s to a new garden season “just” around the corner!

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Judy A Muche March 12, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Wow! Beautiful!

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Amy Stafford March 13, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Thanks Judy!

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Patti August 3, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Great article. Loved the video. Beth’s garden is so beautiful. Looks like you have a fabulous day. Thanks for sharing. I felt like I was there.

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