June 23, 2013

Paradise Found

Once a year, a group of dedicated and determined women, host their annual fund raiser for the organization they founded, Hands of Hope.
This local group supports the poorest of women and children in Africa, building wells for clean drinking water, schools, clinics, and so much more. A real grass roots effort that has successfully made a difference. The main fund raiser is a garden event at the founder, Vicki Wauterlek's home and two other gardens in Barrington Hills, Illinois. As a part of their 'French Market', we sold our wares, in this amazing event.

Ready to be inspired?
Two guest cottages reside on the property. The main cottage is surrounded by apple espalier trees, freestanding, creating a living fence
The other cottage is appropriately clothed in roses and cottage ramblings

Let's head towards the vegetable garden
At the entrance we are greeted with a collection of potted loveliness. (sorry, a glaringly sunny day is difficult to photograph)

Yes, that is a growing pineapple!
The vegetable garden entrance
Be-still my heart!

 There are 53 tomato plants alone
Within the veggie garden is an abundant cutting garden
We make our way towards the pool

Yes, those are trees growing in those pots
A grand pergola in a charming color

Floating pods.......
Opposite the pergola resides this masterpiece. Can you see the Wisteria encrusted arch in the background? Elements of the boxwood undulations repeat lines in the pergola

Adore the slate chipped walks
Looking back at the pool side of the entrance are cleverly potted chartreuse spruces

The pergola and it's surrounding gardens up close

Difficult to photograph, take note of the DOUBLE hanging baskets over a gently bubbling pot

Have you ever seen this plant, a chocolate Cosmo?! Difficult to germinate, one will rarely see this available at the nurseries. So aptly named as up close one gets a waft of sweet chocolate
As we wander towards the estate, via grand woods and majestic oaks, we stopped in our tracks

MASSIVE hanging baskets floating among the Oaks! Maybe 4' in diameter, and each different, was a spectacle to behold.

See how the mass of Cleome is dwarfed in this basket?!

A Hosta woodland with spent giant Allium heads popping through. The real creativity? The Allium heads were spray painted white for an etherial glow! My home and gardens are being photographed next weekend for a local magazine, I am stealing this idea!

Hope you enjoyed, this "snapshot" of loveliness, yes, there was much more than I shared here.
If you would like to learn more about Hands of Hope, or offer a donation, go to their website.  
100% of the donations are for those in need

The power of women........isn't it amazing?

Note; these gardens are maintained by Horticultural Associates, in Waukegan, Il.



  1. Truly inspiring, Debra. This is a post to go through again & again. There is so much to take in from this garden. Bravo to these women, & bravo for such a great garden post!


  2. Wow this is amazing Debra! What a fabulous cause and inspiration!

    The gardens are exquisite, that pergola...wow! The beauty of the gardens definitely matches the beauty and generosity of their hearts.

  3. Wholly cow those gardens are wonderful and I want an apple espalier fence, our deer would love it. The cutting garden above it stunning, I'm going to need more plants for my garden. I love the power of women and the determination to help others.

    I hope you're enjoying your Sunday Deb and I hope you'll share your magazine shoot with us!


  4. Wonder how many weddings here.

    Amazing. Expansive yet intimate.

    XO T

  5. what an incredible garden and cause, debra. i don't get out a lot so seeing those suspended baskets among the oaks! wow! all kinds of blooming lovely. congrats on your upcoming shoot!



  6. The gardens are stunning and I love the concept of the floating pods! And, what a great cause!

  7. Such amazing gardens, Debra. Truly magical. I would love to know more about growing roses (shrub roses?) in containers, if you are ever looking for ideas to educate your readers. So many creative gardening ideas at this property and for such a wonderful cause.


  8. There are no words! If it wasn't pouring with rain I would be putting on my gardening gloves right now and start getting stuck in, I am so inspired! x Sharon

  9. What a fabulous garden. Thanks for the photos and all the inspiration.

  10. The gardens of the Hands of Hope event are beautiful! My friend was just telling me about the Barrington Hills gardens, so it was a treat to find your post in my in box. Hopefully you also had a chance to enjoy The Garden Conservancy's Open Days in Chicago's North Shore yesterday. More loveliness to behold! If not, they have another date in July featuring different gardens.

  11. Debra I am simply stunned at this beauty. The flowers, vines, pathways, pergolas, Arches/
    A wonderful cause!

    Giveaway from Enchanted Home!

  12. Paradise, indeed!!! Where to start? This garden is beyond beautiful. That pergola is truly the pièce de résistance. Thank you for sharing this garden tour, Debra. What a great cause. I hope the event was successful.
    Happy summer!

  13. Oh my goodness this was unbelievable. The details...those massive floating baskets, the hanging baskets...lions & tigers & bears oh my!! WONDERFUL!!!!

  14. AMAAAZING! Omgosh, the climbing pin roses, the floating planters in the pool! I need to do that!!
    Happy Monday,

  15. Debra,
    Such beautiful grounds. Did you say this is a private residence? Wow, I hope they have a crew of groundskeepers. So incredible. I love the pergola and the various "rooms" within the garden. There are so many beautiful flowers and plants. I think the apple espalier fence is my favorite. The chocolate cosmos are found in a few of the better nurseries here in Southern California, but they are sold in 4" and 1 gallon sized plants...I'll have to try one this year.
    Thanks for this remarkable tour, I admire the cause.

  16. The gardens are so beautiful. I love the cause and purpose behind it even more.

  17. Debra, that was absolutely stunning. Yes, the power of women...in everything!I have dreamed of a Potager garden and this would be my idea of perfection. And I have major pool envy.

  18. I enjoyed this. It felt like a stroll through the gardens. Unbelievably beautiful. xo

  19. So much beauty, thank you for this share.


  20. Debra,
    Happy summer!!! What an impressive show of gardens. Those pool pods and oversized hanging baskets were something to behold.

    This just made my day, so thank you for sharing this beauty!!
    xoxo Elizabeth

  21. Hi, Debra -
    I came back for a second viewing of this glorious garden with all the outdoor rooms! And, to wish you a happy 4th ahead! We are off to Maine. Have a great one :)
    x Loi

  22. Debra I just had to come back and take another look at this wonderful tranquility. I must be off to the arboretum today!

    2013 Design Series

  23. Hi Debra, I am in love with this property! Spectacular and so many great ideas. Going back to reread and try to soak up every beautiful detail. Thank you so much for sharing!

  24. I think that this is so great that you are helping out with charity work. It is so important that we raise awareness to the issues of the world. The garden is like stepping into Wonderland. It is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

    PhD Degree by Ruby Hall

  25. Serendipity brought me to your blog and this post while surfing for inspiration. My name is John Staab and I am the Landscape Architect and Garden Designer of this property and have developed and managed these garden spaces since 1986 starting with the main house, moving to the farm houses the pool area, and most recently the Potager (fruit and Vegetable) Garden. I am a founding partner with Hands of Hope and created these gardens as a way to raise money to benefit the charity. I love to add to this garden each year with fun and interesting ideas to entice visitors to visit. This garden also features a wonderful market and fine food on the days of the Garden Faire. The dates for this year’s Barrington Area County Garden Faire are June 20th and 21st and will feature two additional area gardens on the tour. Thank you for the post!


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