Garden 2: Walter Ray & Scott Kaye

The second stop on the Garden Tour was one of two Midtown gardens. Walter Ray and Scott Kaye’s garden was unexpected in the neighborhood, which is known more for Progressive Era homes than modernist dwellings.  The front gate, bordered by horsetail reeds, led to a front walk suspended above a coy pond. The backyard complemented the modernist home with ornamental grasses,  iris and oakleaf hydrangeas. A grove of 3-foot autumn ferns grew under their backyard starecase, next to one of two cisterns.

Garden 1: Ryan Gainey’s Garden

Our first garden stop on the Mother’s Day Garden for Connoisseur’s Tour was garden designer Ryan Gainey‘s home garden in Decatur. His garden comprises three backyards (he bought the houses on either side) and contains two vintage greenhouses, a guest cabin, and a treehouse.

Gainey’s private garden is what I refer to as a “decadent garden.” Most plants are huge and tightly packed together, giving the space the sense of being on the verge of totally overgrown. Already narrow paths seem narrower, and a clear view of the sky difficult to find. For my Iowan mom (who loves flat, open spaces, this decadent garden made her want to grab the lawnmower and pruning shears.  By the end of our thirty-minute tour, she was walking on the street to avoid getting assaulted by four-foot irises and decending roses. After visiting Gainey’s garden, Mom kept brushing her hair, sensing she’d picked up stray leaves.

Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour


For Mother’s Day, I took my mom on the 25th Annual Gardens for Connoisseurs Tour in and around Atlanta. The Tour consisted of thirteen private gardens in the booshiest neigborhoods in town. We skipped the High Tea for a homemade brunch, and made it to only  seven gardens. Each garden offered a different approach, style and “finish.”  In the next few days, I’ll post pics of each.