About Me

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Recent retiree--35 year's experience teaching reading, English, adult basic education and volunteer leadership skills. Started this blog to exchange ideas and commentary with friends and others having an interest in joining the discussions. Greatest life accomplishments include: 1.organized my 3rd grade class to check out library books for me to get around librarian's weekly limit--Amazon.com, the Mullins Elementary 3rd Grade Class of 1956 is still waiting for "thank you" notes; 2. volunteered in the Peace Corps, island of St. Kitts, West Indies; 3.taught adults to read, earn their GEDs., and speak English as a second language; 4. bought a border collie puppy for $6, got evicted rather than give him up, and began a life-long love affair with all things "Dog"; 5. joined a physical fitness boot camp in my mid-50s--don't mess with someone who's been doing regulation pushups in wet grass at 5:30 a.m.; 6. walked across Northern England with best friend Sally--over 80 miles from the Irish to North Seas; and 7. travelled to many foreign countries for pleasure and work.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Old Louisville Hidden Treasures Garden Tour

Last Sunday I braved the scorching mid-day sun and double digit temperatures to take in the annual Old Louisville Hidden Treasures Garden Tour in St. James and Belgravia Courts, which is the largest Victorian residential neighborhood in the country. This area is known for its old architecture, art, and small private gardens and it's the one opportunity for the public to get beyond the garden gates and see these little treasures up close. There were ten gardens on the tour. Incidentally, the fleur-de-lis is the symbol of Louisville and there were examples of it throughout the tour.

Below is one of the St. James Court water fountains, ordered from England in the late 1800s.

Today I just wanted to introduce you to the area and then,starting tomorrow with Friday Fences, I'll show you around several of the gardens. As my blog friend Janis likes to say at Life According to Jan and Jer, I'm stoked because I got so many great photos to share. Just have to discipline myself to not "over estimate" your interest in Louisville gardens and architecture.

Another reason to brave the heat was a new photo challenge I'm setting for myself that I'm calling "Getting off the Green Square" or auto (this title also came from Janis who is an excellent photographer). My goal is to learn to use all the features on my Canon SX130 before springing for a more complicated camera. For these photos I experimented with the "adjusting the white balance" setting on glaring sunny day. Very pleased with most of shots--able to use with only minor photoshopping--mostly crops.  Usually, my photos taken at the time of the day tend to be weak and washed out.

So, just to set you up for the garden tours, here are some fine examples of the architecture--Victorian, Italianate, Beaux Arts, Craftsman, Queen Anne.  Regretfully, your guess is as good as mine about identifying what's what.  I'm going to take their architecture tour later in the year.  But for now, just notice the wonderful doors, gates, windows, towers, ironwork, and roof lines--all set on beautifully landscaped lots.

These houses are on St. James Court:

And finally, here are a couple of favorites on Belgravia Court where most of the gardens are located:

So, if this preliminary "walk" through the neighborhood has piqued your interest in the gardens, come back tomorrow for Friday Fences and I'll show you one--much more fun than dragging the water hose around trying to keep your own plants alive!


TexWisGirl said...

such grandeur! and i had no idea that the fleur de lis was a symbol of louisville. :)

Faye said...

Oops! Make that triple digit temperatures--NOT double. Want you all to know I'm willing to suffer for art's sake! :-)

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Absolutely gorgeous..... Love seeing those old beautiful homes --and their gardens... WOW--would love to be there in person... Thanks!!!! (Can't wait to see more!)
P.S. How is the puppy doing?

Jan n Jer said...

Faye....you can be proud of these shots....they are great. The lighting is good n your composition is wonderful!! Thanks for your kind words...they mean so much! I think the photo bug has bitten you going out in triple digits!! LOL
BTW.I passed your skunk remedy to Kelly...thanks so much

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

Th architecture of those buildings is beautiful.

Sayre said...

Those houses are gorgeous!!!

Shirley said...

I love these grand homes! Their gardens must be amazing! Thanks for sharing and I look forward to tomorrow's tour!

Living Life said...

WOw. I'm impressed. So many different types of architecture! I love the scroll work in the wrought iron fences too. Your photo taking skills are really showing in these shots.

p.s. thanks so much for your advice on Coop. He is such a dog! I actually went to Petco today and they sold me a solution specifically made for skunked dogs. I applied it to him tonight and well let's just say, so far so good. He is happy to be able to sleep back in the a/c!

heyBJK said...

Gorgeous garden and some awesome architecture on those homes! You did a great job getting off the green square, Faye! Nice shots! (I knew it was triple digits. Right there with ya!)

Tanya said...

thanks for the tour! i love that fleur de lis shot! i collect them, i guess it's my french ancestry that makes me :D

Kathy said...

I would have braved the heat for that tour. Absolutely gorgeous.

Roan said...

Love those old homes, are any available to tour? Louisville would be a great weekend getaway for us. I've been past several times, but never stopped. One of these days.